A Pioneer Press photographer was charged Thursday with shaking his 3-month-old son, causing extensive bruising and a noncritical brain hemorrhage.
John E. Autey, 45, of St. Paul, allegedly shook his son for five to 10 seconds on April 21 because the child wouldn’t stop crying. Autey was charged in Ramsey County District Court with two felony counts of malicious punishment of a child.
According to the complaint: Police were called to United and Children’s Hospital shortly after 8 p.m. April 23 on a child abuse report involving Autey. Autey had arrived at the emergency room with his son and said that the boy had been vomiting since April 22.
“During the physical examination, [the doctor] found that the child had extensive bruising on his chest wall, consistent with pattern injuries from fingers, rib fractures on the right side, and a noncritical hemorrhage in his brain,” the charges said.
Autey initially said that the boy fell from a bed, and that he caught the child and rocked him to sleep. But the doctor told police that the boy’s injuries were “classic child abuse.”
Autey’s wife was in Mexico on a business trip at the time.
In an interview with a Ramsey County Child Protection worker on April 28, Autey said he shook his son on April 21 because the boy fell off a bed and wouldn’t stop crying.
“When the defendant was not able to calm the child, he became angry and shook the child for 5 to 10 seconds,” the complaint said. “After that he set the child on the bed and left the room. He knew what he did was wrong and he felt like he was going to throw up.”
Autey told the worker that his son stopped crying after 15 minutes, and that he then fed the boy. The bruises appeared the next day, and Autey said he knew he had to take the boy to a hospital when he started vomiting, according to the complaint.