The 3-year-old boy allegedly burned with a hairdryer by a Hernando County detention deputy likely suffered "significant, permanent damage as a result of the trauma," authorities said.
Deputy Cody Marrone, 21, was arrested Friday night and charged with aggravated child abuse and child neglect, hours after the child was brought to a hospital with severe burn marks.
Marrone originally told staff at Spring Hill Regional Hospital the child burned himself with a hairdryer while Marrone was sleeping. But after the Hernando County Sheriff's Office was called to investigate, Marrone admitted he used the hairdryer as a punishment because the toddler wouldn't let him sleep after he got home from work, authorities said.
An initial sheriff's office new release didn't state the relationship between Marrone and the child, but a second news release said the victim is the child of Marrone's live-in girlfriend. and Marrone was caring for him while the girlfriend was at work.
Investigators said Marrone's actions caused redness, swelling and blistering to several parts of the child's body, including his genital area, and that the injuries "continued to fester" throughout the day. Medical attention wasn't sought until the mother returned from work, the sheriff's office said.
The child suffered second-degree burns to several parts of his body and later was transported to another care center for specialized medical treatment.
Marrone's bail was set at $20,000, and he bonded out of jail Saturday.