Florida man dangled 4-year-old boy from 2nd story balcony before dropping him head-first, police say

A 31-year-old man is facing a felony aggravated child abuse charge after police said he dangled a 4-year-old from a second-story balcony and then dropped the child.

The Daytona Beach Police Department said in an affidavit that Brandon Gilmore had only met the mother of the child five hours before the incident at a Florida hotel resort on Saturday. He told them he met her while they were both at the hotel’s pool drinking alcohol and she invited him to her room.

‘The kid slipped right out of him and fell directly on his head on the concrete, no grass.’

Police say they have obtained surveillance video showing Gilmore holding the child normally before going out onto the balcony at the Sandals Inn.

The man allegedly told the mother that he wanted to scare the child “a little bit” at about 7:30 p.m.

Witnesses said they saw when the child tumbled to the ground.

“He was just like swinging in, playing with them,” Dasanni Bentley, who witnessed the troubling incident, said. “And then he let him go, and he had him by one foot. And then the kid slipped right out of his hand and fell directly on his head on the concrete, no grass.”

She said that the child’s face started turning bright purple.

“He obviously was getting no oxygen. It was just not a good situation,” Bentley added. She said Gilmore and the child’s mother ran downstairs to the child.

“They were just all down like all around him, trying to make sure he was OK,” she continued. “People were screaming from the pool, like to not touch him.”

The mother picked up her child and took him into her room. He was later transported to the Halifax Health Medical Center, where police said he was diagnosed with blunt force trauma to his head. He is not expected to have long-term medical issues and was released on Monday, according to Daytona Beach police Sgt. Tim Ehrenkaufer.

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

The police affidavit says that Gilmore admitted to police that he held the child over the balcony but said nothing further.

Police said they notified the Department of Children and Families about the incident.

Gilmore is being held at the Volusia County Jail without bond.

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