TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A Tallahassee mother is behind bars, accused of hitting her 4-year-old daughter in the face with a belt's buckle.
Shanterria Sampson has been charged with one count of child abuse.
On Monday, a Tallahassee Police officer was contacted about a child abuse investigation by a Department of Children and Families (DCF) Child Protective Investigator (CPI).
The investigator told the officer he saw the injuries on the 4-year-old and was requesting a police report.
During a medical evaluation of the child in question, investigators found marks beneath her eyes, beneath her chin, on her neck, and on the back of her leg.
A probable cause document says that when officers made contact with a woman who often babysits the 4-year-old, she told them that she received a call from Sampson Saturday evening.
She said that Sampson told her that she had just "beat" the 4-year-old for kicking her brother out of a swing. She told officers that Sampson continued to call her over the weekend, "asking if she should 'beat' [the child] again."
When Sampson brought the child over on Sunday, the woman says she saw the mark below the child's eye and asked what happened.
The probable cause document says the child tried to answer the woman, but Sampson spoke over her, claiming the injury was from the child scratching herself.
When asked what happened to her eye, the 4-year-old told investigators that her mother had hit her with a belt, which was consistent with what the child told the woman who kept her on Sunday.
Sampson denied the allegations when interviewed, according to the probable cause document, saying that she spanked the child on the buttocks with a belt after the 4-year-old pushed her brother out of his swing.
She said that after the spanking, the child got frustrated and scratched her own eye, leaving two marks. Later, while playing, the child fell on the floor, Sampson told officers, causing the marks to her chin.
Sampson stated that the belt's buckle never hit the child.
A medical examiner later told investigators that the injuries to the 4-year-old were not consistent with Sampson's story, stating that the injuries looked like the child had been hit with a belt buckle.
The examiner, according to documents, noted bruising to the back of the child's leg, also consistent with being hit with a belt.
Officers wrote that the evaluation "yielded positive findings for abuse."
Based on the investigation, Sampson was arrested for child abuse on Wednesday. She remains in the Leon County Jail.
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