ST PETERSBURG -- A man is behind bars and is being charged with child abuse after he severely beat a 5-year-old child, police say.

Detectives say Gerald Whelan, 41, was arrested for aggravated child abuse with great bodily harm, and child neglect of a boy that was in his car.

Fire rescue and police were called to a residence just before 8 p.m. Thursday evening about a young boy having medical issues. When the child was transported to a hospital, doctors found numerous physical injuries and detectives were called to investigate.

The child had bruising and trauma to the face, rib fractures, internal bleeding and damage to the organs.

Investigators say Whelan hit the boy in the head and abdomen with his fist. The abuse had been ongoing and Whelan did not seek medical help fo rthe child.