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Orane Gowans (pictured) was trying to get his five-month-old daughter to stop sucking her thumb and so he allegedly struck the child on her hand, hoping that would stop the habit.

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But he ended up braking it in several places instead, WPTV reports. The 28-year-old was arrested and charged with child abuse. It has not been confirmed, but it is possible that the dad did not intentionally try and break her hand.

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According to the Port St. Lucie Police Department, Gowans shares a residence with his wife and three young children, all under age five.

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When Gowans’ wife returned home after the incident had occurred, she saw that her baby’s hand was swollen. When she attempted to touch the baby’s hand to see what was causing it to look so puffy, the child screamed.  The unidentified woman asked her husband, who had been watching the baby, what had happened to their daughter.

Authorities say that Gowans concocted a story, telling his wife that the baby had been bitten by a bug and urged her not to seek medical attention for the child. The wife decided to take the baby to the hospital where doctors discovered that the baby’s hand was broken in several spots.

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Gowans first denied hitting the child when questioned by police but eventually then confessed to the incident.

“It’s especially sad when you have a five-month-old who can’t talk, who can’t tell you what is wrong … to endure such an incident like this,” said Port St. Lucie Police spokesman Frank Sabol told WPTV.

Police officials say that Gowans has no prior criminal offenses. When authorities reported the crime to the Department of Children and Families, they learned that neither Gowans nor his wife has ever had a case with the agency.

The St. Lucie County Jail confirmed to WPTV that Gowans is posting a $5,000 bond and will be released.

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