A White Bear Lake man abused his 1-month-old son so badly that the baby nearly died, according to charges filed Friday.
Austin T. Whiteaker, 19, was charged in Ramsey County District Court with first-degree assault and malicious punishment of a child.
“Dr. Mark Hudson of Midwest Children’s Resource Center, a child abuse pediatrician, reported that [the baby’s] injuries are consistent with the legal definition of ‘Great Bodily Harm’ in that the child actually died and was revived and will have permanent disabilities as a result of the inflicted trauma,” the charges said.
The baby suffered a “devastating brain injury,” bleeding around the brain, hemorrhages in the left eye, multiple fractures and extensive bruising. The charges did not specify what types of disabilities the baby will likely suffer.
According to the complaint: Police were called to Whiteaker’s apartment in the 3900 block of Hoffman Road about 6:40 p.m. on April 26 because the baby was not breathing. Whiteaker and the child’s mother, 20, were home at the time. The couple’s roommate, 20, was also home and performing CPR on the child.
“The baby was blue in color, was not breathing and did not have a pulse,” the complaint said. “There was blood coming out of the baby’s right nostril.”
The baby was taken to St. John’s Hospital, where he was revived, before he was taken to Children’s Hospital.
All three adults told police that the women had gone to McDonald’s to buy food, leaving the baby alone with Whiteaker. The baby was blue and unresponsive when the women returned.
Doctors spoke to Whiteaker and the baby’s mother, and learned that on April 25, Whiteaker awoke about 6 a.m. to the baby crying. The baby’s mother was asleep. About 30 minutes later, they saw a large bruise on the baby’s head, and he vomited twice.
Whiteaker told doctors that the baby cried “24/7,” and didn’t sleep well until about 9 a.m. April 26.
Doctors founds several injuries to the baby, including bruising that was consistent with a human handprint, the complaint said.
Whiteaker allegedly gave “vastly inconsistent accounts” of his son’s injuries in four interviews with police and child protection authorities. The charges allege that he said nothing happened and that he left his son alone for a few minutes to use the bathroom and returned to find him blue; that the baby fell off the foot rest of a recliner; that he tripped over the baby while it was in an infant seat, and that the baby fell 2 feet from a baby carrier.
Ramsey County juvenile court records show that there are no child protection cases filed in Minnesota for either Whiteaker or the baby’s mother.