Orane Gowans: Port St. Lucie father faces child abuse charge

X-ray confirms child had broken hand

28-year-old Orane Gowans lives with his wife and three kids in west Port St. Lucie. His children are all younger than five-years-old.  


Neighbor Paul Webb is also a father.


Webb was surprised to hear his neighbor has been charged with child abuse. 


"I'm kind of shocked because like I said, they've always been quiet … never seen no craziness," said Webb.


According to police reports, Gowans was trying to get his five-month-old child to stop sucking her thumb when he hit her hand.


Police say an x-ray would later confirm her hand broke in several spots. The incident upsets neighbor Robin Taylor. 


"Unimaginable. It makes me feel sick to my stomach and emotional," said Taylor. 


Officers say at first, Gowans told his wife the baby's hand was swollen because of a bug bite, and he did not want their daughter to see a doctor. But Port St. Lucie Police say he later confessed to slapping her hand. 


"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. 


Police say Gowans has no prior criminal record. The Department of Children and Families says it also has no past record for him.


Gowans' three kids are not in protective custody, but it's not clear whether they are back home with their mother.


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

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