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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A mother and her boyfriend are behind bars after police said he punched her toddler in the stomach, sending the girl to the hospital.

Tyquan Spencer, 22, and Scarlett Ruiz, 24, are now facing charges for harming the 19-month-old child.

Authorities learned of the alleged crime following an argument between Spencer and Ruiz’s aunt, who lives near the couple in North Miami, authorities said.

Ruiz’s aunt confronted Spencer about a “recent injury” to her child when he became “enraged and belligerent,” according to the arrest report.

When the aunt told Spencer “I don’t have to listen to this” and retreated to her apartment, Spencer allegedly kicked the woman’s door open, splintering it beyond repair. She called for help as Spencer walked away.

Police found Spencer in the vicinity and took him into custody.

Investigators spoke to the toddler’s older brother, who told them he saw Spencer, who was home alone with the children, punch his little sister.

The attack was so hard the child threw up and suffered a perforated small intestine, needing emergency surgery.

A neighbor said they were surprised Ruiz was involved.

“The mom is a good mom. She is a nice mom. I see her with her kids. From experience, and from what I have seen, she would not do that to her kid,” the neighbor said.

Spencer was charged with aggravated child abuse causing bodily harm and criminal mischief.

Ruiz is being charged with one count of child neglect causing great bodily harm. When hospitalized, officials said she did not disclose to the medical staff that the child was punched, causing a misdiagnosis.


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