5-year-old boy critical after being abused for months, police say

John Gerald Whelan
John Gerald Whelan

ST PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A 5-year-old St. Pete boy is in critical condition Friday after police said a man taking care of him struck him in the head and stomach with a closed fist, St. Petersburg police said.

Detectives arrested John Gerald Whelan, 41, on charges of aggravated child abuse with great bodily harm and child neglect.

Fire rescue went to a home in St. Pete at 7:42 p.m. Thursday when the boy was having medical issues. He was taken to All Children’s John Hopkins Hospital.

Doctors discovered numerous injuries and detectives were called.

The boy had bruising and trauma to the face, rib fractures, internal bleeding and damage to organs.

They said the abuse occurred over the last several months and Whelan did not get medical help for the boy.

No other information was immediately released.

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