The mother of a 2-year-old New Port Richey boy whose nipples were twisted off has been charged in the case.
Seven days after Pasco Sheriff's Office deputies arrested Thomas Gordon Matheson, 28, and charged him with child abuse, Tina Renea Kline, 25, the child's mother, was arrested and charged with child neglect with permanent disfigurement.
The child, whose identity was not released by authorities, was left in the care of Matheson, 7280 Broadmoor Drive in New Port Richey, on Nov. 16, while Kline went to work. During that time, Matheson told deputies he was "playing rough" with the toddler and was giving him "titty twisters," which involved grabbing the nipples and twisting them.
According to the sheriff's office, Matheson's actions caused such severe trauma that the boy's nipples came off and will not grow back.
An arrest report states Matheson called Kline, also of 7280 Broadmoor Drive, and told her what happened that day. Deputies said neither Matheson nor Kline reported the child's injuries or attempted to get him medical attention.
The toddler's grandparents noticed the injuries on Nov. 20 and called authorities.
Matheson was arrested Nov. 20 and remains in the Land O' Lakes Jail with a bond of $20,000. Kline, arrested Nov. 27, was released the next day after posting a $10,000 bond.
The child is currently in the custody of relatives.