PALM HARBOR, Fla. - Pinellas County sheriff’s detectives arrested a man for child neglect Tuesday after he failed to inform medical staff of his son’s head injury.
The 3-year-old boy – who is receiving treatment for hemorrhaging in the brain and a skull fracture – remains at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg as of Wednesday morning.
Joseph Lusardi, 24, of Palm Harbor is charged with one count of child neglect.
Detectives arrested Lusardi around 7:50 p.m. Tuesday and took him to the Pinellas County Jail.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office believes Lusardi failed to report the head injury of his son between Oct. 20-23.
Deputies began the investigation on Oct. 25 after receiving a call to Mease Countryside Hospital in Safety Harbor for the boy, who was admitted to the hospital for seizure-like symptoms and vomiting.
Lusardi told deputies he was home alone with his son on Oct. 20, when the child fell off a table while strapped in a car seat. The sheriff’s office said Lusardi initially withheld information about the fall because he was scared.
On. Oct. 20, Lusardi called 911 to report his son was suffering from seizure-like symptoms, according to the sheriff’s office. The boy received treatment at an area hospital and released the next day for what doctors thought was acid reflux.
The child’s mother took the boy to After Hours Pediatric Urgent Care in Palm Harbor on Oct. 22 because the boy was vomiting and not eating normally. The mother took her son back to Mease Countryside Hospital at the advice of doctors at the urgent care center.
On Oct. 23, Lusardi told the boy’s mother about the fall three days before. The mother immediately informed hospital staff of the fall, and doctors ordered a CT scan.
The scan confirmed the boy’s injuries, and he was transferred to All Children’s Hospital for further medical treatment.
The investigation is ongoing.
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