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14-025 Detectives Arrest Tarpon Springs Man for Aggravated Child Abuse

Who:
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Investigative Operations Bureau
-Crimes Against Children Unit

Joshua Clifford Spencer (Arrested)
DOB: 08/16/1991
Address: 1769 Wood Bend Drive, Tarpon Springs
Arrested for aggravated child abuse

Victim is a 14-month-old female, known to the suspect. Per Fl Statute 119, no further information will be released that would tend to identify the child.

What:
Detectives assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit have arrested a Tarpon Springs man for child abuse after he allegedly caused two fractures to the child’s right leg because he was angry and frustrated over financial issues.

When:
The suspect was arrested at about 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 12, 2014.
The crime occurred on Monday, February 10, 2014.

Where:
The crime occurred at a private residence in north Pinellas.

Why/How:
Crimes Against Children detectives began investigating the crime after a female relative of the child reported that the child may have been hurt by the suspect, 22-year-old Josh Clifford Spencer.

As this crime was being investigated, the relative further reported that the suspect had also battered her. Spencer was arrested on the evening of February 10, 2014 for domestic battery and transported to the Pinellas County Jail.

He was released on bond on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 8:00 p.m..

Through further investigation into the child abuse allegations, detectives learned the child’s right leg had been fractured in two locations. The complainant told deputies that the suspect was angry and frustrated over financial issues and that the two had had an argument about the matter. The complainant said she left the child in Spencer’s care on Monday, February 10th and that when she returned Spencer told her that something was wrong with the baby’s leg.  The two transported the child to the hospital for treatment.

Detectives continued their investigation and on Wednesday February 12, 2014, Spencer responded to the Sheriff’s Administration Building at 10750 Ulmerton Road for an interview regarding the abuse on the 14-month-old. He initially told detectives that he’d fallen while holding the baby and that the baby’s leg had become caught underneath him. Detectives say he then admitted to handling the child in a rough manner while changing her diaper, causing the fractures to the  leg. Spencer was arrested for aggravated child abuse and transported to the Pinellas County Jail without further incident.

The investigation continues.

Joshua C. Spencer

Joshua C. Spencer

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