LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A man is facing assault and abuse charges after he allegedly admitted to causing life-threatening injuries to his infant son.
Donnie E. Rowe, 28, of Louisville, was arrested Tuesday.
LMPD detectives said Rowe admitted to causing his 2-month-old son’s injuries Friday night. It happened at Rowe’s home in a mobile home park on Taylor Boulevard.
Neighbors in the Kenwood Mobile Home Park said Rowe came to them after he realized his son was hurt.
One of those neighbors, Tiffany Miller, said she tried to help.
“(The child) was pale white,” Miller said. “When I took him, he looked at me, grabbing my mouth, whimpering, but he was going uhhh, uhhh, uhhh, like he was gasping for air and couldn’t breathe.”
Miller said she gave the boy back to Rowe so he could change his diaper. She also said she told him to call 911, but said it wasn’t until Saturday when the baby got medical treatment. Police said the baby suffered multiple skull fractures, retinal hemorrhages and several other injuries which are consistent with abusive head trauma.
“To have skull fractures like that, he had to be thrown, punched, or shook real hard,” Miller speculated.
According to Rowe’s police report, he was on drugs at the time and on Tuesday, admitted to police that he caused his son’s injuries.
“If you are under the influence of any kind of substance, if you are depressed, if you are angry, or have anger issues, if it’s a crying baby, it can push you over the edge,” said Erika Janes, coordinator of child safety programs for Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness.
It’s not clear if the infant will survive. Norton Children’s Hospital said about one-third of babies who suffer abusive head trauma will die, while a majority of those who survive will have lasting complications from the injuries.
The most overlooked sign of child abuse is bruising, Janes said, adding that everyone should know about the 10-4 bruising rule. If there is any bruising on a child age four and younger to the torso, ears and neck, they should be evaluated immediately. Janes said there should not be any bruising anywhere on a non-mobile infant under 1 year of age, or any infant who is not yet pulling up and taking steps.
Rowe appeared in court Thursday where a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.
Rowe was ordered not to have contact with the infant, the mother of the infant or the residence. His bond was increased from $100,000 to $500,000 full cash.
Rowe is scheduled to appear back in court on June 24 at 9 a.m.
For information on how to prevent child abuse, click here.