Miami Beach police have arrested a couple on child abuse charges after they say a 4-year-old boy was beaten so badly that surgeons were forced to remove “several inches” of his bowels.
According to arrest affidavits, Gabby Cancel, of Miami, choked his girlfriend’s son and then told him to put his hands up and punched him in the abdomen. Police said the Sept. 4 attack ruptured the child’s bowels and he was taken to Miami Children’s Hospital.
Sgt. Bobby Hernandez, a police spokesman, said the child was sedated for several days but identified Cancel, 23, as his attacker when employees of Kristi House — which provides temporary housing for abused children — were able to speak with him.
Police say the boy’s mother, however, gave them fake names for her boyfriend and pretended to not know where he lived.
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Hernandez said the couple moved to Miami from their North Beach home, where the alleged attack happened, to get away from police.
“We got a tip and we were able to locate him in Miami, and he was there with her,” Hernandez said.
Police arrested the mother, Mirta Alfonso, 25. She said she didn’t give up her boyfriend because he had a criminal past and she feared the Department of Children and Families would take her son away, according to her arrest report.
Police said Cancel ran when they showed up and fell down a flight of stairs.
Cancel, is charged with child abuse and assault. His bond was set initially at $251,000.
Alfonso, was charged with being an accessory to child abuse after the fact and with resisting arrest without violence. Her bond is $11,000.
The child remains at Miami Children’s Hospital, and will be in the custody of DCF.