The father of an 8-week-old baby has been arrested and charged with cruelty to a juvenile allegedly after his son presented signs of of shaken baby syndrome. East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s deputies were called out to the Children’s Hospital on June 13th for injuries to an 8-wk-old baby.
The infant presented signs of subdural hemorrhage, bleeding in the brain and seizures. Officials said the injuries were “non-accidental trauma” and that’s why they contacted deputies.
The parents of the infant told deputies they did not know how the baby was injured and said they were the only two who took care of the baby.
Hospital officials said it appeared the infant’s injuries were within an hour before baby was taken to the hospital, around 10am on June 13th.
Deputies spoke to the baby’s mother who said she went to work early in the morning and the baby was fine. He woke up and she gave him a pacifier and he went back to sleep.
The father, Michael Bates, 22, told deputies the baby woke up around 5:40am and that he gave the infant a bottle and both father and son fell back asleep. The father said when he woke up later, the baby was unresponsive and appeared to be “uncontrollably tightening his body.”
Both parents said they did not notice any trauma or injuries on the baby that could have caused the bleeding.
After several scans and tests, the hospital staff determined there was a rib fracture & concluded it was due to extreme pressure on the infant’s back. They also said there were signs of retinal hemorrhages due to the baby’s head going back and forth rapidly. In fact, officials said there were so many retinal hemorrhages, they couldn’t count them all. There were also signs of bleeding that happened within the past seven days, within the last 72 hours and within hours of when the infant was taken to the hospital. The hospital staff determined the baby suffered from shaken baby syndrome, a form of abusive head trauma to the baby.
Staff added the baby would have lasting effects from his injuries but they would not be able to say what those effects would be until he reached school age. It was determined that the baby did not suffer from any bleeding disorders.
Bates did say he shook the baby after he was unresponsive.
Deputies interviewed the baby’s uncle and aunt, who both said nothing was wrong the previous night.
Given all the details provided by the hospital staff, Bates was arrested for second degree cruelty to a juvenile.