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Grandparents say couple charged with child abuse 'not abusive parents'

Cooper and Tina Norman charged with child abuse, neglect

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A St. Johns County couple is behind bars Monday evening after investigators made a disturbing discovery.

Cooper Norman is charged with three counts of child abuse, and his wife, Tina Norman, is charged with one count of child neglect. This comes after officials say someone noticed bruises on their little boy's face, leading to the discovery of even more issues.

DCF investigators quickly got involved after the Sheriff's Office made those discoveries. On Monday evening, the little boy's grandparents told News4Jax this was all just a misunderstanding.

After investigators found physical issues on the Normans' little boy - they call "bizarre," the arrest report showed a DCF child protection team found bruises on the boy's jaw, neck, and chest. They also discovered a red mark on his collar bone and what officials call two obscene images of body parts drawn onto the boy's body in ink.

Robbie and Sherri Baier call the drawings on the child's body a "bad joke that went wrong." The parents of Tina Norman said it was just a joke between the boy and Cooper Norman and something their daughter Tina was completely unaware of.


"And then I just found out from my daughter, because I talked to her today, she didn't know anything about the writing until after he did it," Sherri Baier said. "And they're saying, 'well, why didn't she stop it?' she wasn't in the room when it happened."

According to a police report, when Cooper Norman was questioned by investigators, he told them that he threw a box at the boy to get his attention, accidentally hitting him.

Both Robbie and Sherrie are adamant their son-in-law and daughter are not abusive parents and shouldn't be sitting in jail. They do admit, however, that Cooper has some maturing to do as a parent.

"It was childish, he was being stupid," Sherri Baier said. "Like I said, he needs a lot of growing up to do, but child neglect? No."

The Baiers said they do not have the money to bail the couple out. The child is now in the care of his other set of grandparents.

"Well, right now they're in a good place," Sherri Baier said. "They're, like I said, with another set of grandparents, so they're fine. But my granddaughter, she's nervous, she wants her mommy and everything else, so she's been crying a lot."