A Keys detention deputy was arrested Monday afternoon in Homestead on a child-abuse charge after witnesses said they saw him twist a 3-year-old child’s arm.
Juan Cotto, 47, who has been a Monroe County detention deputy since 2012, was charged with child abuse, not causing bodily harm.
Homestead police were called to Homestead Hospital, 975 Baptist Way, at about 3 p.m. Monday about a possible case of child abuse, according to Cotto’s arrest report.
Five people told police that they saw Cotto grab the 3-year-old girl’s wrist. He then “pulled the child’s arm back and forth, twisting her wrist as he also restrained her,” an officer wrote in the report.
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“Mr. Cotto acted out in a willful act which could have likely caused the child physical harm,” the officer continued. “The child complained and then started crying, as she attempted to get away from him.”
Cotto, according to the report, was at the hospital for an issue with his wrist. During the investigation, police noticed signs of impairment and Cotto told officers that he had consumed four to six alcoholic drinks, according to the report.
It was not clear whether the child was his daughter. The child’s mother came to the hospital and took custody of her.
The Department of Children & Families was notified of the incident.
Cotto has been suspended with pay while his case is investigated and evaluated, Monroe sheriff’s spokeswoman Becky Herrin said Tuesday.