Port resident charged with causing injuries to 7-month-old who suffered brain damage
A 20-year-old Port Washington man who told authorities he became so frustrated with his girlfriend’s baby daughter that he slammed her head into the bottom of her playpen was charged Monday with seriously injuring the 7-month-old child, according to a criminal complaint filed in Ozaukee County Circuit Court.
Irwing A. Escobedo faces one count of physical abuse of a child-recklessly causing great bodily harm, a felony punishable by a maximum 10 years in prison and five years of extended supervision.
The infant, who was being cared for by Escobedo at his apartment last week when the incident occurred, suffered an “extensive” subdural hematoma, or bleeding of the brain, consistent with abuse, the complaint states.
According to a report written by Alice Swenson, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa who specializes in child abuse and who examined the girl, children who suffer such injuries are often impaired for the rest of their lives if they survive, the complaint states.
“Some children die either immediately or later due to complications of the head trauma,” according to Swenson’s report. “There is a wide range of outcomes for children who survive. Some do relatively well and are able to live relatively normal lives, and others are severely devastated and may require constant care for the rest of their lives.”
Port Washington police were called to Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, where the infant was taken before being flown to Children’s Hospital on Thursday, Nov. 7.
There they spoke with the child’s mother, who according to the criminal complaint gave this account:
She said she left her daughter in the care of Escobedo at his apartment while she worked her third-shift job the previous night. She noted that Escobedo is not the child’s father.
She arrived home at 6:40 a.m. on Nov. 7 and noted her daughter appeared to be sleeping. She said she decided to take what she thought would be a short nap before the baby woke up hungry.
Instead, she woke up more than three hours later concerned that her daughter still seemed to be sleeping. She said she picked the child up and immediately knew something was wrong.
The infant looked like she was awake but had a blank stare. One of her eyes was looking to the side as if she had a lazy eye, and the woman noticed a small bruise on the child’s forehead, a bump on her head and a scratch on her right cheek.
The woman said she called her grandmother, then took her daughter to the hospital.
When an officer first interviewed Escobedo, he denied that anything happened to the infant while he was caring for her.
But when officers talked to him again two days later, Escobedo said that at one point during the night the baby needed a diaper change, and while carrying the crying child to the bathroom in a bit of a “panic,” something, perhaps his shoe or the child’s head, hit a door, the complaint states.
As the interview with police continued, Escobedo said he was physically and mentally exhausted from working 70 hours a week and taking online classes. Then he admitted to becoming frustrated with the infant because she would not stop crying, according to the complaint.
He said he slammed the child’s head against the bottom of the playpen in which she had been sleeping with such force that he heard her head hit the hard surface, the complaint states.
Escobedo said he noticed the baby’s breathing change a few minutes later but did not think the change was related to slamming the child into the crib, according to the complaint.
Swenson, who said she believes the incident occurred during the time police determined Escobedo was caring for the child, noted in her report that the symptoms of such a serious head injury would have been immediately obvious, the complaint states.
During a court hearing Monday, Judge Sandy Williams set Escobedo’s bail at $25,000 and ordered him not to have contact with the child or anyone younger than 18 if released.