Beachgoers at Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, called 911 July 1 to report an alleged child abuse.
Holmes Beach Police Department officers made contact with the witnesses, who pointed out Janet Foust, 52, of Tampa.
At least four witnesses said Foust walked up to a 3-year-old girl, grabbed her, physically dragged her to the water’s edge and then temporarily left the child.
Foust allegedly returned to the girl, dragged her back to some towels and “threw her to the ground,” according to the police report.
Witnesses reported Foust put her knees on the child and began “violently slamming the child’s head, shaking her back and forth and screaming in her ear.”
One woman attempted to intervene and said Foust told her to mind her own business.
According to the report, Foust said she was “just feeling edgy and was disciplining her child,” but admitted she may have taken things too far.
However, Foust also attempted to blame the child for her actions, telling police it was the 3-year-old’s fault for making her act that way.
HBPD contacted Florida Child Protective Services, which took custody of the girl and two siblings. Police said that Foust’s husband was in the water during the incident, but denied seeing anything. He told police that his wife “sometimes gets crazy due to menopause.”
The husband also said his wife had been drinking all day.
HBPD arrested Foust on felony child abuse charges and turned her over to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office for transport to the Manatee County jail.
Foust posted a $5,000 bond and was scheduled for arraignment 9 a.m., Friday, July 27.