A Homosassa woman was arrested Tuesday and charged with child abuse without causing great bodily harm.
Citrus County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Gernishia Gernae Tatum after a school resource officer contacted law enforcement about an injured five-year-old boy, according to sheriff’s office arrest records.
The boy told deputies he had ripped a pillow belonging to Tatum, angering the 29-year-old woman. She allegedly told the boy he was “getting a whoopin” and hit him across the face with a shoe.
Deputy T. Barry reported seeing a large bruise from the child’s right ear to his right eye in the pattern of the bottom of a shoe, according to arrest reports. The deputy also reported seeing a bruise and cut on his left eyelid.
After a medical exam a nurse reported that the boy had bruises on his buttocks, legs, back, and thighs, according to the report. The nurse also said the bruises were in different stages of healing.
Tatum, of 3888 South King St., Homosassa, told investigators the boy ripped a pillow and she pulled down his pants to hit him with her slipper but the boy moved too much and she missed and hit him once in the face. Asked about the other bruises, Tatum told deputies, the boy trips and falls a lot.
She said she was living at a shelter at the time and hits the boy on the buttocks to discipline him but it doesn’t work.
Her bond was set at $4,500 and she was ordered not to have any contact with the boy.