Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Bristol Township teen charged with abusing his infant son
Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014
An 18-year-old Bristol Township man is charged with abusing his 2-month-old son, whose injuries included liver trauma, a fractured elbow and a broken thigh bone, police said.
Tyrone Springer was arraigned Wednesday by District Judge Joanne Kline on three counts of felony aggravated assault and simple assault, endangering the welfare of children and reckless endangerment. After the arraignment, he was sent to Bucks County prison in lieu of 10 percent of $75,000 bail.
The baby’s injuries were discovered last month after he was taken to Lower Bucks Hospital in Bristol Township, then transferred to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. Doctors at the Philadelphia hospital found severe bruising to the child's abdomen and the broken left thigh bone, which they said appeared to be the result of “non-accidental” trauma.
Bristol Township police believe the child was injured on Oct. 16 while Springer was caring for him at their home on Stephen Avenue. The infant's mother told police she was home all day except for two hours, when she left the baby was in Springer’s care to run errands.
Before leaving the house, the woman said she changed her son and noticed he was kicking his left leg, which was strange since he usually kicks both legs. But he wasn't crying and she said she didn’t see any obvious injuries, according to a probable cause affidavit. When she returned home, the woman found Springer in the bedroom feeding the baby, who seemed fine, the affidavit said.
The woman said she went downstairs and left Springer and their son alone upstairs. While changing the baby later that night, the mother saw bruises on his chest and noticed his left thigh was bigger than the right one and he cried when she touched it, court documents said. That was when the baby was taken to the hospital.
Springer initially denied any knowledge of the baby’s injuries when police interviewed him on Oct. 17, but later said the baby probably rolled off the bed and fell onto a case of formula that was on the floor. Springer said he didn’t tell anyone what happened because he didn’t want the baby’s mom to be mad, the affidavit said.
But a doctor at St. Christopher’s who specializes in pediatric child abuse said his examination showed the injuries were “unquestionably the result of child abuse.” The doctor told police that a fall of 22 inches – the height of the bed – couldn't have caused the extent of injuries the baby suffered, the affidavit said.
In addition to the broken thigh bone — which was described as an "enormous break" — the doctor said the baby had bruises on his belly, a thumb-size bruise on his chest, a fractured growth plate on the left elbow and elevated liver functions, which indicate liver trauma.