Man allegedly dangles, drops child head-first from Daytona Beach hotel balcony

A 31-year-old man was arrested after he allegedly dangled a child and dropped him off a second-floor balcony of a Daytona Beach hotel over the weekend. 

Brandon Gilmore is now facing an aggravated child abuse charge after the incident that unfolded on Saturday evening at the Sandals Inn on South Ocean Avenue, according to an arrest affidavit from the Daytona Beach Police Department. 

On Saturday afternoon, Gilmore said he met a woman at a hotel pool – and about five hours later, he was seen by other hotel guests allegedly dangling the woman's child by his leg over the balcony of her hotel room. According to the arrest affidavit, witnesses said they heard the child screaming before he was dropped head first. 

Gilmore told police he was "playing" with the boy to "scare him a little bit," the affidavit said. 

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Police reviewed surveillance video of the incident on the scene, which revealed the following, according to the arrest affidavit: 

"Officers observed (Gilmore) exited the hotel room carrying the child in a normal way, holding him in his arms. Officers observed (Gilmore) carrying the child to the balcony and holding the child by one leg, with his head positioned to the ground, then proceeding to drop him from the second-floor balcony."

Brandon Gilmore was arrested on July 6, 2024 and charged with aggravated child abuse. (Photo: Volusia County Jail)

The child was transported as a trauma alert to a local hospital with serious and severe internal injuries, according to police. He suffered blunt-force trauma to his head after the fall. In an update on Tuesday afternoon, police said the boy will be OK and no long-term health issues are expected as a result of the fall. 

The affidavit did not reveal how old the child is. 

The affidavit said both Gilmore and the child's mother were drinking that day. 

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The Department of Children and Families has been notified of the incident. 

Gilmore remains in custody at the Volusia County Jail without bond, according to online jail records. 

FOX 35 is working to obtain more details about the incident. This is a developing story.