A Hernando County detention deputy has officially been terminated.
Cody Marrone, 21, was arrested Friday night after a 3-year-old boy in his care was brought to a hospital with severe burns, according to authorities.
Officials said Marrone admitted to detectives that he became upset with the boy and burned the child several times with a hair dryer, causing severe injuries. Marrone was charged with aggravated child abuse and child neglect.
"I completely understand the public's anger and frustration regarding this case," said Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis. "It is especially frustrating when one of our employees does something like this, because I know that before we even consider a person for employment, we do a background that is very difficult to pass.
"It is so difficult, in fact, that most people don't even attempt the application process. Once an application is submitted, a huge number of applicants fail, due to items revealed in the process. Unfortunately, after talking to the case detective and getting some specific details about this particular investigation, my anger and frustration only increased. The public can rest assured, however, we will do our very best to see that justice is served in this case."
Initially, officials said Marrone told them the child injured himself with a hairdryer.
"It was pretty evident that there was no way that it could've of been an accident based on the evidence," said Nienhuis. "Obviously you can draw your own conclusions that it was pretty serious -- and when it gets to that level, the decision to terminate someone becomes very easy."
After being read his rights, though, Marrone admitted to using the hairdryer to burn the child as punishment for not allowing him to sleep, an arrest report said.