Unfortunately, this case from Schuykill County PA seems like a "classic" case of SBS...
'Frustrated' father shook crying baby, police say
Schuylkill tot is 'critical'; Kyle Bluge faces assault charges.
By Chris Parker
Of The Morning Call
May 1, 2008
A 22-year-old Schuylkill County man who complained of being frustrated with his children was in county prison Wednesday, accused of shaking his 6-week-old son so hard the baby was hospitalized in critical condition with severe head trauma, police said.
Kyle J. Bluge of 512 E. Railroad Ave., New Ringgold, shook the baby between 12:55 a.m. and 1:05 a.m. Friday, state police at Frackville said. The baby was taken to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Montour County.
Bluge was arraigned before District Judge James Ferrier, Orwigsburg, on charges of aggravated and simple assault, endangering the welfare of children, reckless endangerment and harassment and jailed under $15,000 bail.
An affidavit of probable cause that state Trooper Collette M. Smith of Frackville filed with Ferrier gives this account:
The county Children and Youth Services agency notified police April 25 that the baby was in the hospital. About 1:30 a.m. that day, emergency medical crews arrived at the home Bluge shared with the infant, another child, his girlfriend and her father.
Bluge had called the ambulance, saying the infant was ''having trouble breathing because a toy was dropped on his abdomen,'' the affidavit says.
The baby was taken to Pottsville Hospital, then transferred to Geisinger. Smith was told the infant had severe head trauma, bleeding into his brain and retinal damage, all of which are common with shaken baby syndrome.
Bluge told police he had put the infant on the floor next to his crib while he went across the room to get diapers and wipes. He said he heard a ''bang'' and the infant began crying. Bluge told Smith he turned and saw a toy truck, apparently tossed by another child, near the baby's head and thought it had hit him in the abdomen, according to the affidavit.
Bluge later told Smith he had been trying to feed the infant, who was fussy. The baby cried and wouldn't take the bottle, he said. The baby was screaming and Bluge said he shook the bottle in the infant's mouth, causing his head to shake back and forth.
Bluge admitted having done that before, ''but never that severely,'' the affidavit says. Smith said he called 911.
The baby's mother, Jennifer Lynn Swope, told police Bluge sent her a text message at the fast-food restaurant where she works, saying he was ''frustrated with the kids'' and that the baby ''would not stop crying,'' according to Smith's affidavit.
Bluge told Swope he ''might have hurt'' the baby while trying to feed him.
Swope told police she had been concerned about leaving the children with Bluge. She said she was at work until about 1 a.m., and when she arrived home, her father told her the baby was hurt and the ambulance was on the way, according to the affidavit.
Swope said she held the infant, and ''saw that he could not open his eyes, he wasn't moving a whole lot and that he was having a hard time breathing,'' the affidavit says.
Police interviewed Bluge again April 28 at the Ronald McDonald House at Geisinger.
Bluge changed his story, admitting he had ''feelings building up from many things, money issues, living with Swope's father, the babies and the start of his new job being delayed,'' the affidavit says.
He said the children were crying and ''his feelings of everything seemed to explode in the wrong way,'' and he shook the baby's head roughly. The baby's head ''bounced off his arm hard on both sides and bounced up and down,'' Bluge said.
''After he realized what he did wrong he called 911,'' the affidavit says.
Police interviewed Swope later that day. She told them Bluge admitted he ''got frustrated and shook a bottle'' in the baby's mouth.
On April 28, pediatric optometrist Dr. Thomas Wilson of Geisinger told police the baby had retinal bleeding and other injuries that indicated he had been shaken. Attending physician Dr. Paul Bellino concurred.
Police then arrested Bluge.
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