Police search for convicted child abuser

Huntington Beach police are seeking the public's assistance in finding a man convicted of child abuse.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Mario David Abernathy, 44, who failed to show up for his sentencing hearing Thursday, said Lt. Russell Reinhart.

Abernathy was found guilty July 5 of corporal injury to a child. He has been out on bail since his arrest in November, when police found his daughter bleeding from her mouth after responding to a neighbor's call, Reinhart said.

The neighbor reported hearing a woman crying in the next-door apartment and screaming "stop." When police arrived, Abernathy said there was no one else in the apartment. After asking to check, police found the girl and arrested Abernathy, Reinhart said.

Her name and age have been withheld to protect her identity.

Earlier this year, Abernathy filed a claim against the Police Department for what he said was the unlawful search of his daughter's bedroom and denying him due process, among other allegations. The city attorney's office called them unfounded.

Abernathy, who is described as 5 feet 10, 210 pounds and white with brown hair and brown eyes, is considered a fugitive and police are actively looking for him, Reinhart said.

Abernathy has a criminal history that dates back to 1999. That year, Abernathy pleaded guilty and was placed on three years of probation and ordered to serve 360 hours of community service for grand theft. In 2009, he was convicted of a felony grand theft of more than $150,000 from an elderly person and was sentenced to two years in state prison.

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