Malcom J. Hodges

Malcom J. Hodges

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office

A Lake Worth man is behind bars after deputies say he punched a pregnant woman in the stomach, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Malcom Hodges, 29, faces robbery and aggravated battery charges for hitting the woman so hard that “she could no longer feel her baby’s heartbeat,” according to his probable-cause affidavit.

The soon-to-be mother was walking near 22 South D St. on Friday when she first noticed Hodges walking towards her, according to affadavit by police. She tried to turn around but Hodges grabbed her from behind and tossed her to the ground on her stomach. He then punched her bulging stomach, snatched her purse and took off running.

A witness’s description of Hodges led to his arrest, according to the affidavit. He was spotted later that day at Seventh Avenue South and South Dixie Highway. After giving deputies a short chase, he was eventually apprehended.

Hodges wouldn’t admit to stealing the woman’s purse and stated that he only ran because “he was selling fake drugs and thought PBSO had seen him,” deputies said. He did, however, confess to working side jobs and committing robberies for money.

The woman was transported to St. Mary’s Medical Center due to her injuries, according to the affidavit. Although the fetus’s heartbeat could barely be taken at first, it did eventually become stable.

Jail records show Hodges has been previously convicted of numerous crimes including grand theft and burglary. In November 2018, he was released from prison after serving nearly five years for burglary and cocaine possession.

Hodges, whose next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 28, is being held at Palm Beach County’s Main Detention Center on $50,000 bond.

C. Isaiah Smalls II is a reporter covering breaking and trending news for the Miami Herald. Previously, he worked for ESPN’s The Undefeated as part of their inaugural class of Rhoden Fellows. He is a graduate of both Columbia University and Morehouse College.

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