NEW: Child bruised, woman scratched during fight; Gardens man arrested


A 44-year-old Palm Beach Gardens man faces child abuse and battery charges after he reportedly pulled a 10-year-old from the front seat of a car into the back while the car was moving, city police records show.

The woman who was driving told police she was using Matthew Tucci’s phone for directions late Saturday while on Interstate 95. Once she left the interstate, Tucci reportedly became irate and demanded his phone back, according to a police report.

See who’s been booked into the Palm Beach County Jail

Tucci, who was in the backseat of the car next to a 3-year-old, allegedly grabbed the woman’s face while she was driving north on Military Trail. He then grabbed the 10-year-old from the front seat and pulled the child out of a seat belt and into the backseat, the woman told city police.

Tucci reportedly screamed names at the child. The woman eventually pulled the 10-year-old back into the front of the car, the report said.

The woman dropped Tucci off at a friend’s house and she and the children continued to another home. They locked themselves in a room, but Tucci came to the other home and picked the lock. He pushed aside the woman and grabbed the older child, records show.

The woman had scratches on her chest, shoulder and arm, and the 10-year-old’s leg had a bruised gash, an officer noted. The woman said Tucci was drunk.

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Tucci admitted there was an altercation in the car, but insisted it was only verbal, records show.

Tucci was released under supervision Sunday afternoon from the Palm Beach County Jail. A judge ordered he have no contact with either the woman or the children.

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