Man arrested after infant’s brain bleed spurs law enforcement investigation

Benjamin Weingard

A man was arrested after an infant’s brain bleed spurred a law enforcement investigation which began at The Villages Regional Hospital.

The Department of Children and Families contacted the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office on Friday after a four-month-old female suffering a brain bleed was taken to the hospital. The baby was having seizures and was transferred to Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando.

The mother and 34-year-old Benjamin Weingard were interviewed at the hospital in Orlando and summoned the following day to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office at Pinellas Plaza in The Villages. The mother provided her account of what had happened. Weingard asked for a lawyer and declined to give a statement.

An investigation revealed that over two weeks, Weingard squeezed the infant, resulting in the infant losing consciousness and suffering multiple brain bleeds, bleeding in the cervical spinal area and possible ligament damage to her neck.

“The infant victim has yet to be fully diagnosed as to amount of injuries she has suffered,” the arrest report said.

Weingard was arrested on a charge of cruelty toward a child/aggravated abuse. He was booked at the Sumter County Detention Center and released after posting $10,000 bond.