Palm Coast Couple Charged With Aggravated Child Abuse After Neglecting Broken Arm
FlaglerLive | December 2, 2013
Doctors and nurses at Florida Hospital Flagler figured out effectively enough that the 3-year-old boy’s arm they were treating hadn’t just broken. It had broken at least two days before the child’s mother and her boyfriend brought the boy to the emergency room in late September. That prompted a call to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
And the arrest Sunday of Joanna Flynn-Caraway, 27, and her boyfriend Douglas Destin, 26, both of 18 Warwick Place in Palm Coast. They were each booked at the Flagler County jail, Destin on charges of aggravated child abuse and child neglect, and Flynn-Caraway on charges of felony child neglect and child neglect causing great harm.
The boy’s arm was determined to have been broken on Sept. 18 at the house on Warwick, two days before the child was brought to the hospital. Flynn-Caraway, according to her arrest report, was holding the child by the hand or the wrist when the child dropped to the floor. Flynn-Caraway told authorities that she heard what she described as a “bubble going between the bone.”
A couple hours later, the child fell on the floor again—the report does not explain how—landing on the same arm, and was in obvious pain. The next day, Flynn-Caraway told police that she noticed swelling near the injured wrist of the child. She claimed she had no way to get to the hospital at that time, and told Destin that the child’s injury needed medical attention.
Destin, according to the arrest report, told Flynn-Caraway that he did not think taking the child to the hospital was a good idea. He made a splint with a small piece of wood and bandage to wrap the injured arm. On Friday, Flynn-Caraway took the boy to a pediatrician, who informed her that the boy had a broken arm and needed to be hospitalized. That’s when she took him to Florida Hospital, though as the report describes it, when Flynn-Caraway was told of the arm needing medical attention, she left the hospital—with the boy.
Only after she reached by sheriff’s deputies was Flynn-Caraway persuaded to bring back the child to the hospital.
Flynn-Caraway has three children–the 3-year-old boy, a 6 year old and a 2 month old. This past June she had taken custody of the two older children when she and Destin traveled to Texas, where their biological father gave the children to the couple, according to the arrest report.
While at the hospital, authorities learned that the couple allegedly had cruel means of disciplining the 3-year-old boy, including dousing the child in cold water for napping when he wasn’t supposed to, sitting the child by the front door, as punishment, for 10 to 60 minutes, “and twisting [the child] into a pretzel with legs behind [his] head, causing pain to the groin area,” according to the arrest report.
Flynn-Caraway and Destin were held on $7,500 bond. They posted bail and have been released. (Flynn-Caraway’s name was misspelled as “Carroway” on her arrest report, but was corrected in her jail booking.) The state Division of Children and Families is investigation has taken the child and two other children, ages six and two months, from the home and into protective custody, the sheriff’s office reports.