Barbara GarciaWATSONVILLE, CA – Police have arrested 18-year-old Barbara Garcia on suspicion of child abuse after police obtained cell phone video of her hitting her boyfriend’s 15-month-old girl.

While her boyfriend is at work, Garcia takes care of the man’s daughter from a previous relationship. Police were called to the couple’s home Thursday afternoon after a neighbor called to report hearing a woman hitting a child.

When police arrived, they found the girl unresponsive with bruises around her eyes. She was taken to a hospital with a traumatic head injury. During their investigation, they were shown a video taken by another neighbor showing Garcia striking the 15-month-old on Wednesday.

“The previous day, a neighbor heard the child crying and the sound of a disturbance coming from the residence and went to investigate. Through an open window, a neighbor saw and took video from their cell phone,” said police in a statement.

The video shows Garcia seated on the floor when, “Without provocation, Garcia violently swung her hand and slapped the child on the head, knocking the child off her feet as she flew several feet away and lay motionless on the ground,” Watsonville police Sgt. Saul Gonzalez said. Not satisfied, Garcia grabbed the child by the hair, dragged her into her lap and continued to slap her in the face.

Barbara Garcia would eventually admit to police that she had abused the child and was arrested on suspicion of child abuse. She is being held in Santa Cruz County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. Police said that the boyfriend was unaware that Garcia, who is pregnant, was abusing his daughter.

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