GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – A Clay County teacher has been suspended after he was arrested and accused of cruelty toward a 1-month-old child and aggravated child abuse.
Gabriel Quant, a 41-year-old Spanish teacher at Clay High School, was arrested Wednesday by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.
According to an arrest report obtained by News4JAX, Quant was arrested after the 1-month-old child was brought to Wolfson Children’s Hospital on Tuesday with “severe bruising on her buttocks” and a broken leg.
A St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office investigator asked Quant what happened, according to the report, and he told the investigator he “snapped” during a diaper change, lifted up the child by one leg and began spanking her repeatedly. He told investigators he has been stressed recently due to the death of his mother and did not immediately realize the child was injured.
Lauren Metlin is a neighbor who often saw the couple and their son walking the family dog. She just learned about the baby’s injuries and says she wasn’t to help.
“I’m blown away by this. I’ll do whatever I can to support her, her son, and her daughter. In whatever way we can,” Metlin said.
According to his Facebook page, Quant has been a teacher at the school since 2014.
Clay County District Schools issued a statement to News4JAX following the teacher’s arrest:
“Clay County District Schools has been made aware of the arrest of one of our teachers. The allegations against the employee are related to events that took place off-campus and not directly related to the employee’s teaching duties. The District is following policy and the employee has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.”
The bond for Quant has been set at $100,000. If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison.