Mesa man arrested on child abuse charges after baby hit by ceiling fan

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Jeromy Lee Gilfillan By Jennifer Thomas Jeromy Lee Gilfillan By Jennifer Thomas

MESA, Ariz. -- A Mesa man is accused of child abuse after police said his 5-month-old daughter was injured while in his care.

Jeromy Lee Gilfillan, 30, was arrested Monday. He faces two counts of child abuse.

According to court documents, the baby's mother came home from work Sunday evening and noticed swelling on the side of the girl's head. When she asked Gilfillan what happened, he said he did not do anything to the victim and told her not to call 911.

The woman took her daughter to a hospital where an exam revealed skull fractures, requiring surgery to repair.

Police interviewed Gilfillan, who was caring for the baby and her 2-year-old brother while their mother was working.

According to the court documents, Gilfillan admitted lifting the girl into the air at which time the ceiling fan struck her head, but he said it was not intentional.

He told police that the child cried and whimpered after being struck by the fan.

Court records show that Gilfillan also told police that he put the child on the floor without supporting her head when he changed her diaper and clothes. He said he heard her head hit the floor. The victim was on a piece of carpet on top of hardwood floors, according to the paperwork.

The girl's mother told police that Gilfillan does not believe the victim is his biological child.