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Man charged with child abuse after girl suffers head injury

The girl's injuries required surgery & left her with a disability, deputies say

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – Eight months after a child was hospitalized with severe head trauma, the man accused of causing her injuries is now under arrest, according to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

Elick Levi Griffis, 31, was booked Monday into the Clay County jail, where he’s being held on a felony aggravated child abuse charge in lieu of $250,000 bail, jail logs show.

Though the relationship between Griffis and the girl is not specified in court records, the man’s fiancée told News4Jax on Tuesday that the child is the couple’s.

According to Griffis’ arrest report, the child was found unresponsive and gasping for air Feb. 3. The girl had severe brain bleeding and swelling as well as damage to her eye.

The injuries, which required emergency life support and surgery, appeared to be the result of trauma, according to the report. The report said the injuries left the girl with a permanent disability.

Griffis’ fiancée told News4Jax that he is innocent and would never hurt one of the couple’s children. The child’s condition was not immediately clear on Tuesday. 

A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Children and Families said the child was taken into protective custody at the time and is currently in a "safe environment."