Man drops boy, 4, headfirst off hotel balcony after dangling him by one leg - hours after meeting mum and son at swimming pool

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A 31-year-old man has been charged with aggravated child abuse after dropping a four-year-old boy off a hotel balcony.

On Saturday (6 July), Brandon Gilmore, allegedly dangled the child by one of his legs over the second-story balcony of Sandals Inn in Daytona Beach, Florida. He then dropped the little boy onto the concrete head first, according to local NBC affiliate WESH, citing Daytona Beach Police Department records, which obtained surveillance footage.

According to police, Gilmore told authorities that he had met the four-year-old and his mother about five hours before the incident. He claimed that he told the mother he was taking her son outside of the room to play and "scare him a bit."

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Police wrote in the report, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal: "[Gilmore] then went outside of the hotel room and proceeded to hold (the boy) by both of his legs, holding him directly over the second-floor balcony”. Authorities added that a friend of the woman and her child, who was staying in the same room, told police Gilmore met the boy and his mother at the hotel's pool, where they had been drinking, before the woman invited Gilmore to their room.

A 31-year-old man has been charged with aggravated child abuse after dropping a four-year-old boy off a hotel balcony. (Photo: Volusia County Jail)A 31-year-old man has been charged with aggravated child abuse after dropping a four-year-old boy off a hotel balcony. (Photo: Volusia County Jail)
A 31-year-old man has been charged with aggravated child abuse after dropping a four-year-old boy off a hotel balcony. (Photo: Volusia County Jail) | Volusia County Jail

Police said witnesses reported seeing the incident happen. Dasanni Bentley, a witness, told WESH that the incident was "absolutely devastating."

She recalled: "He was just like swinging in, playing with them. And then he let him go, and he had him by one foot. And then the kid slipped right out of him and fell directly on his head on the concrete, no grass.

“His face started turning bright purple. He obviously was getting no oxygen. It was just not a good situation."

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She said she saw the boy's mother run downstairs. She added: "They were just all down like all around him, trying to make sure he was OK. People were screaming from the pool, like to not touch him."

Daytona Beach Police Sgt. Tim Ehrenkaufer told the News-Journal that the child was rushed to Halifax Health Medical Center as a trauma alert. The outlet said the boy was discharged from the hospital on Monday (8 July) and is not expected to have any long-term medical issues as a result of the fall.

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