Father charged with giving false statement after toddler shoots himself

DELTONA -- Volusia County Sheriff's investigators filed a criminal complaint affidavit Thursday with the State Attorney's Office charging 24-year-old Brandon Cardona with child neglect, leaving firearms within access of a minor and other felonies, two days after his 3-year-old son accidentally shot himself with a gun that resulted in a light grazing of the boy's chest, a Sheriff's spokesman said.
The Deltona man was also charged with forgery, giving false official statements, giving a false report to law enforcement officers and resisting arrest without violence. During the investigation into the toddler's shooting Tuesday, Cardona told deputies that he was the victim's uncle, Robert Cardona.
"However, it was later learned that his actual identity was Brandon Cardona, the victim's father," Sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson said."The forgery charge stems from Cardona signing his brother's name on a witness statement given to investigators." 

On Wednesday, Cardona and the child's mother, Tracy DeCarr, appeared for a Department of Children and Families hearing at the Volusia County Courthouse in DeLand where Cardona admitted to the judge during the hearing that he had lied to deputies about his identity, Davidson said.

Cardona was arrested Wednesday in the courthouse on a Flagler County warrant charging him with violation of probation and driving with license suspended, which were unrelated to the shooting incident.

The toddler somehow got a hold of a .40-caliber semi-automatic Glock handgun, squeezing the trigger, which caused a grazing wound to his chest. Family members drove the injured child to Florida Hospital Fish Memorial in Orange City and hospital personnel immediately called the authorities at 9:22 a.m.

Investigators recovered the weapon and a bullet in the boy's bedroom. The toddler was airlifted to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando for follow-up medical care, even though the injury was not life threatening because of his young age.