8-Month-Old Baby’s Leg Broken, Dad Arrested

MOUNT DORA, Florida—A Mount Dora man was arrested Monday for aggravated child abuse after he was accused of breaking his 8-month-old daughter’s leg, bruising several ribs and failing to get her immediate medical attention.

According to a heavily redacted arrest affidavit, the infant was picked up from a home in Eustis around 5 p.m. Wednesday by her father, Dominic Tyler Ralston, 22, after spending the night of Oct. 26 and most of the day Wednesday with two individuals whose names were redacted. The baby had no visible injuries, except for a bruised forehead that was explained by the baby’s parents, according to the affidavit. The baby shied away from Ralston when he attempted to pick her up, the affidavit states. Ralston’s relationship to the baby is redacted from the affidavit, but social media

posts indicate he is the child’s father.

Later the same evening, the baby’s mother called her own mother and said the baby was not eating and would “flip out” in apparent pain if she was touched, and was favoring her right leg, the affidavit states. An unnamed person took the baby to AdventHealth Waterman and Ralston and the baby’s mother followed.

The hospital found the baby had a broken leg and an unnamed person told police the baby had fresh bruises on her body and face. The person told police the baby’s parents had a history of domestic violence and just a few weeks before Ralston threw a 12-pack at the baby’s mother, striking her in the face. She locked him out of the hotel room, and he kicked the door in. Ralston was arrested in Lake County in December 2019 for domestic battery, the charges were later dropped.

On Thursday, the baby was transferred to Advent Pediatric Hospital in Orlando and when Ralston was informed of the transfer, he at first refused to go. After an unnamed person yelled at him about not going, he did go to his daughter. While there, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) asked Ralston to sign a safety plan giving temporary custody of the baby to someone else. He refused and is alleged to have said it was, “all a bunch of (expletive.)”

Later the same day, Mount Dora Police asked Ralston to come to the department to be interviewed and he asked if he was going to be arrested, the affidavit states. A detective told Ralston he wanted to know how the baby’s leg and ribs were broken and bruised and Ralston went to Mount Dora Police Department around 4:15 p.m. for the interview.

Ralston told police Oct. 26 was the fourth day the infant had issues with her right leg and there was concern because she was accident prone. He went on to explain safety measures he had taken including pool noodles and crib liners and said he was concerned DCF was going to permanently take the baby. MDPD explained witnesses said the baby was very sensitive to her leg being touched after being with Ralston and Ralston suggested she broke her leg by getting caught in the crib liner. He then stated he did not know how she broke her leg and said her bruised ribs must have been from a fall, according to the affidavit. The MDPD detective asked Ralston to take a Controlled Voice Stress Analysis examination and he refused.

Ralston was arrested Monday and charged with aggravated child abuse. He was released from the Lake County Jail on $10,000 bond Tuesday morning. 

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