1-year-old locked in bathroom

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 27, 2010

An Andalusia mother and her Butler County boyfriend were arrested Friday and accused of breaking a 1-year-old girl’s arm in three places, dragging her up a flight of stairs and locking her in a bedroom so “they could eat lunch without hearing the crying.”

Sgt. Ray Dixon of the Andalusia Police Department said Tiffany Ann Riley, 20, and Jermaine Pate, 24, now face one count each of torture/willful abuse of a child, a Class B felony, following the incident at a local apartment complex.

Dixon said both Riley and Pate have a history of domestic violence.

“Mr. Pate was on probation for a domestic violence charge, and Ms. Riley allowed him to move into the apartment with her and (her daughter),” Dixon said. “According to witness statements, since Pate has moved into the apartment, both he and the child’s mother have verbally abused and given the child repeated spankings for crying.”

On Wed., July 14, the child fell and bruised her face on the tracks of a sliding glass door, Dixon said. When treatment was given at the hospital, it was noted that the child had an infection in both of her ears.

“On Thurs., July 15, her mother snatched the child up by her arm, breaking it in three places and dragged her up a flight of stairs to lock her in an upstairs bedroom so she and (Pate) could eat lunch,” Dixon said. “Over the following weekend, the couple would lock the baby in a downstairs half bathroom so they could not hear the crying from the upstairs bedroom.”

Dixon said on Monday – four days after her arm was broken – Riley took her daughter to a local physician, and she was later transported to Sacred Heart Hospital, where Florida officials discovered the abuse and placed the child in protective custody.

Dixon said it was then that Covington County Department of Human Resources officials were notified and reported the offenses to the Andalusia Police Department.

Initially, each was placed into the Covington County Jail under a $20,000 bond; however, that amount was raised Monday to $250,000 each due to the nature of their alleged crimes, Dixon said.

Additionally, Pate is being held without bond for Butler County for violating the terms of his probation.