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Swollen skull leads to charges

– Between Oct. 18 and Nov. 4, the infant boy’s head swelled dramatically.

He had already been taken to a hospital once when he stopped breathing in his crib, but no reason could be found by doctors. His parents denied that the newborn baby suffered any trauma to his head. But after a scan, doctors found so much bleeding on his brain that they had to drill tiny holes in his skull to relieve the pressure, according to court documents filed Tuesday. In the documents, his father, Dan M. Thompson, 25, is accused of battery and neglect of a dependent, both causing serious bodily injury. If convicted of the charges, Thompson could face up to 20 years in prison.

According to court documents, Thompson called 911 on Oct. 18, telling dispatchers his son was turning blue and not breathing. After the examination, doctors kept the baby overnight at the hospital but found nothing wrong with him and sent the infant home with a diagnosis of “apnea of the newborn.”

But on Nov. 4, when the baby was taken to the doctor, there were new issues, including the swelling in his skull and what appeared to be hemorrhages in his eyes, according to court documents.

The baby was discharged to the care of relatives, with no sign of fractures.

In later interviews with Department of Child Services, Thompson said he put his hands on the baby’s shoulders and shook him a little bit and pinched his leg when he discovered he had stopped breathing, according to court documents.

A consultation with doctors at Riley Hospital for Children led to a ruling of “abusive head trauma,” specifically the result of “acceleration-deceleration” of the head, according to court documents.

During an interview with police, Thompson’s wife, the baby’s mother, said her husband cares for the children during the day while she works full time. And while she said she’d never seen him harm their children, “he had been physical with her in the past,” according to court documents.

Thompson had not been arrested as of Tuesday evening.

rgreen@jg.net

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