July 15, 2024

A 31-year-old man was arrested on Saturday after allegedly dropping a 4-year-old off the second floor of a Daytona Beach resort, according to an affidavit from the police department.

The man, identified as Brandon Gilmore, is now facing a felony charge of aggravated child abuse.

According to records from the Daytona Beach Police Department, Gilmore met the mother of the toddler approximately five hours before the incident, which happened just before 8pm.

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The man says he told the mother he was taking the child outside to play and “scare him a little bit,” then proceeded to hold the child upside down by his legs over the balcony.

Witnesses say Gilmore then dropped the toddler head-first, letting him fall two stories to the ground.

“He was just like swinging in, playing with them,” said Dasanni Bentley, who witnessed the troubling incident.

“And then he let him go and he had him by one foot. And then the kids slipped right out of him and fell directly on his head on the concrete, no grass.”

Gilmore told officers he held the child over the balcony but did not expand further on his involvement, the affidavit says.

Bentley said the child took a pretty hard hit.

“His face started turning bright purple,” said Bentley.

“He obviously was getting no oxygen. It was just not a good situation.”

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Officers say they were able to access video surveillance footage that captured the incident.

According to the affidavit, the video shows Gilmore exiting a hotel room holding the child normally in his arms before holding him over the balcony by one leg.

The surveillance footage then shows Gilmore dropping the child head first, the affidavit says.

Bentley said Gilmore and the child’s mum ran downstairs.

“They were just all down like all around him, trying to make sure he was okay,” she added.

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“People were screaming from the pool, like to not touch him.”

Witnesses said the mum picked the child off the floor and took him back to the room.

The child was rushed to hospital as a trauma alert based on the seriousness of the fall.

According to police, the child suffered blunt force trauma to his head, but his current condition was not immediately made available.

“Absolutely devastating,” added Bentley. “I don’t even know how I’d react if that was my own.”

The Department of Children and Families took a report of the incident, according to the affidavit.

Gilmore is now charged with aggravated child abuse. He is being held at the Volusia County Jail on no bond.

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