A woman was arrested in Watsonville on suspicion of child abuse Thursday after a neighbor took a cellphone video showing her 15-month-old daughter being hit and dragged by the hair, police said. Barbara Garcia, 18, was transported by Watsonville police to the Santa Cruz County Jail in Santa Cruz and held on $50,000 bail, police said. Police received a report at about 6:37 p.m. of a 1-year-old child being abused in the 500 block of California Street, police said.
Upon arriving at the residence, an officer interviewed Garcia, who said she was taking care of her boyfriend’s 15-month-old daughter. The officer noticed that the child appeared to be unresponsive and called emergency medical personnel who transported the girl to a hospital for evaluation, police said. Police learned later that a neighbor had heard a child crying in Garcia’s residence and then used their cellphone to take a video through an open window to her home.
The child received a slap on the head, was knocked over and lay motionless when the suspect grabbed her by the hair, dragged the child and continued to hit her, police said. During an interview, Garcia told police that the child would not stop crying and when shown the video, admitted she had abused the child, police said. The child has been hospitalized with traumatic head injuries, but was in stable condition, police said.
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