RICHMOND, Ind. — A Richmond man is facing battery and neglect charges after a 1-month-old was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, including a fractured skull and brain bleeds, court documents state.
Steven Allen Haggerty, 24, was charged with battery resulting in serious bodily injury to a person less than 14 years old, battery resulting in bodily injury to a person less than 14 years old, neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury and neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury.
Court documents show that the investigation into Haggerty began after the 1-month-old was taken to Richmond’s Reid Hospital on April 3. The infant was later taken to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis for further treatment.
A doctor with Riley’s child protection team told authorities the infant’s injuries suggested she had been abused, documents state. The doctor explained that the infant was suffering from skull and arm fractures that appeared to be recent, minor brain bleeds on both the right and left side of the brain, and rib fractures that were healing, which indicated they were broken on an earlier date.
“These finding are suspicious for nonaccidental trauma given the fact that there are fractures of multiple ages,” said the doctor in her report.
When Haggerty originally spoke with police on April 3, he claimed the injuries happened at home that morning when he tripped on a dog while holding the infant and fell into a bassinet, per court documents. Haggerty said the baby hit her head on a metal part of the bassinet and cried for a short period of time but then acted normal. A family member who was home with Haggerty at the time told police she witnessed this incident.
That family member then took Haggerty to work after another family member arrived to watch the child. This other family member told police that while babysitting, she noticed bruising on the child’s face and that the child would cry whenever she was moved, court documents say. In response, she called the child’s mother, who was at work. The mother returned home and decided her child needed to go to the hospital.
Police met with Haggerty again on April 5 and questioned him as to why his explanation of how the infant was injured did not match the infant’s injuries. Haggerty admitted to police that he lied because he knew he was wrong and did not want to get in trouble, documents state.
He told police that on multiple occasions he patted the baby on the face and gave her “strong hugs” to get her to stop crying, which caused the rib fractures and facial bruises. According to court documents, Haggerty also said that the night before the baby was hospitalized, he dropped her while getting up from the couch, which caused her to hit her head on his knee. He then caught her by her right arm and yanked her back up to his chest, which caused her to hit her head again. Haggerty told police he believed this caused the two brain bleeds.
Police were skeptical of this explanation and asked Haggerty if the circular bruises on the baby’s face were caused by his knuckles during a punch. Haggerty said he never punched the baby, and the bruises were caused by the ring on his finger during pats, documents state.
Authorities then placed Haggerty under arrested and booked him into the Wayne County Jail.