BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Police arrested a man accused of beating a baby girl so badly that she is now hospitalized and showing no signs of brain activity.
John Hope, 28, of Baton Rouge, was arrested Wednesday night on a charge of second-degree cruelty to juveniles.
According to the probable cause report, a 3-month-old arrived at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital with life-threatening injuries due to blunt force trauma.
Doctors contacted detectives with the Baton Rouge Police Department and reportedly advised them the infant had three skull fractures, bruising on the face and neck, blood in the whites of both eyes, blood in her mouth and multiple rib fractures that were healing.
"The injuries around the neck were consistent with someone grabbing the baby by the neck," the report stated the medical personnel told investigators.
Officials said the baby was in "critical but stable condition with no brain activity."
The report stated the attending physician told investigators that the parents said the baby had fallen off of a changing table. It also stated the emergency room staff told police officers and workers with the Department of Child and Family Services that the injuries were not consistent with a fall.
Detectives said the mother told them the baby was fine when they put her to bed Tuesday night. They added when she awoke the next morning, Hope was holding the baby and stated the infant had fallen from the changing table. The mother was not charged.
The investigation is ongoing.
Here are some ways that we can help prevent abuse from occurring in the first place, according to Prevent Child Abuse (PCA) Louisiana:
- Educate parents about child development and how to cope with their frustration and anger. Our Family Nurturing Program provides parents with lessons about ages and stages of child growth, positive ways to deal with stress and anger and family bonding.
- Help connect struggling parents with community resources, like substance abuse treatment, parenting support programs and mental health treatment.
- Provide parents with our parent helpline number: KIDLINE, 1-800-CHILDREN. KIDLINE provides parenting support, information and connections to local community resources from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days per week, and is answered right here in Baton Rouge.
- Remind people to report suspected abuse and neglect to the authorities. It isn't prevention, it is intervention, but we must watch out for ALL children in our communities and get families help when it's needed.