Nashville Mother Admits to ‘Body Slamming’ & Hitting Child in Face with Belt

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Santarius Bradford was arrested just before 5 AM on Monday morning for an outstanding warrant, and formally charged felony aggravated child abuse of her 11-year-old son.

According to police, the 11-year-old child ran away from his mother on August 20th, and went to his great-grandmother’s house with injuries. Police examined the child that night, and observed multiple injuries to his face, including a swollen cheek and lip. That night, police spoke to the mother, Santarius Bradford, who admitted to hitting the child with a belt as punishment.

The following day, the detectives formally interviewed the victim and observed several injuries over his body, to include a swollen upper lip, a swollen left cheek with a fresh scab, a scabbed over mark on his left elbow in the shape of a belt buckle, and a bruise on his right upper arm.

Santarius Bradford (MNPD)

During that interview, the child told detectives that his mother was upset with him, and started hitting him with an open hand several times. According to the statement, she then threw him on a bed and started to hit him with closed fists six times., before going to get a belt, wrapping it around her hand, and beating him with the belt buckle., which he says hit him in the arms and face.

Detectives then formally interviewed the mother, Santarius Bradford, where she admitted to hitting the child with her hands and belt. She said she “roughed him up”, meaning to hit him with an open hand, and that she “body slammed” him on a foot stool. Santarius Bradford then stated that she also hit the victim in the face with the belt, causing injury to his face, but claims it wasn’t with the belt buckle.  She said that hitting the child in the face with the belt alone caused the injury to his cheek, and the injury to his lip was caused when she ‘roughed him up’.

As of Tuesday morning, Santarius Bradford remains in jail on a $50,000 bond for aggravated child abuse (felony). She will have a bond review hearing on Wednesday. Her previous charges include aggravated assault, resisting arrest, domestic assault, and vandalism.

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