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Florida Couple Blame 18 Rib Fractures and Brain Hemorrhaging on ‘Very Fragile’ Newborn Son: Police

Florida Couple Blame Injuries on 'Very Fragile' Newborn Son: Cops
Source: Miami-Dade Corrections

Stephen and Tina Palmer are accused of child neglect after their 2-month-old son is found with 18 rib fractures and bleeding on his brain.

Jan. 19 2024, Published 10:01 a.m. ET

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A couple in Florida have been arrested after allegedly beating their infant son, leaving him with severe injuries including 18 fractured ribs, according to authorities.

According to arrest warrants obtained by WTVJ, officers responded to an apartment in Miami Beach and found the victim, who was born on Oct. 18, unresponsive.

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When first responders arrived, they found the baby’s father, 42-year-old Stephen Palmer, giving the infant CPR. Rescue workers took over giving the baby chest compressions as he was rushed to Mount Sinai Medical Center, the arrest warrants stated.

Medical staff were able to resuscitate and intubate the baby before he was flown to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, where he was admitted to the pediatric intensive care until, officials said.

According to the warrants, doctors found the baby to have several rib fractures, which were not consistent with CPR and “presented a level of concern.” The infant also had a brain bleed and a deep laceration above his chin and below his lower lip.

When talking with investigators, Stephen said he woke up and found the baby unresponsive with “blue colored lips,” authorities said.

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Stephen told police the baby recently had a fever and was given Children’s Tylenol. He said the baby also had recent and frequent spit ups that were large and he had been crying more than usual recently, but thought it was due to colic, according to arrest warrants.

The baby’s mother, 37-year-old Tina Palmer, told authorities that the chin laceration may have been from squeezing the baby bottle too hard.


When authorities asked about the rib fractures and other serious injuries, neither parent could say where they may have come from. Stephen did tell investigators that he believed the infant was “very fragile.”

Tina Palmer told authorities that the baby hadn’t been to a pediatrician since his two-week appointment due to her working two jobs, officials said.

The baby was examined again by nurses, who found a total of 18 rib fractures, a fractured bone in his right hand and acute hemorrhaging/blood in the right and left side of his brain including neurological damage, according to authorities.

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They also found injuries to the baby’s genitals along with lacerations that were scabbed on his right big toe, left hand and a couple around his neck.

The arrest warrants noted “these injuries were not consistent with CPR and were deemed highly suspicious for non-accidental trauma indicative of severe physical abuse.”

Tina and Stephen Palmer recently were arrested and charged with child neglect with great bodily harm. Stephen was also charged with aggravated child abuse or torture causing great bodily harm, officials said.

They were both booked into jail, where Stephen was being held without bond, while Tina was being held on a $100,000 bond.


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