LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A one-month-old baby is clinging to life after police say he was shaken by his father. The child suffered life-threatening injuries and is with family at Norton Children’s Hospital.
Louisville Metro Police Department detectives said the baby’s father, Demarcus D. Swain, 25, of Louisville, admitted to shaking the infant and “aggressively placing the victim on his chest out of frustration because the victim was crying.”
Swain’s cousin, who didn’t want to be identified, spoke with WAVE 3 News. He said Swain is a first time father and lashed out because the baby was crying.
Police were called to Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital on Saturday, Nov. 17 after the infant was brought in showing signs of being assaulted. The child was rushed to Norton Children’s Hospital and remains in critical condition.
“There is a crying curve from two weeks to 10 weeks I believe,” Erika Janes from Norton Children’s Hospital said. “It’s the time that babies just cry more.”
Janes said she’s seen cases like this unfortunately too often.
“It takes very little, very little shaking,” Janes said. “The heaviest part of a baby is their head the weakest part of a baby is their neck.”
The safest thing Janes said for both baby and parent is for the parent to walk away when they are frustrated.
“I can promise you as a new parent you will be frustrated,” Janes said. “The message is -- it’s okay to step away, but to put the baby in a safe spot on their back in their safe crib, nothing is going to happen to them there, and take a break. Maybe that’s when you need to call a parent -- your parent.”
Swain was booked into Louisville Metro Corrections on Tuesday on charges of first degree assault and criminal abuse of a child under age 12. Bond was set at $500,000 cash.
His arrest report states his baby has “a bleak chance of survival.”
Janes said if the child does survive, a majority of the time doctors see these children have other devastating injuries from this sort of abuse.
Swain does have a previous criminal history that includes complicity to burglary, complicity to theft and other charges.
He’s due back in court on Nov. 30.