Dad JASON SCHUIT has been charged with aggravated assault against his infant son. It appears the baby was violently shaken, and developed breathing problems. He was diagnosed with bleeding on the brain, rib fractures, and severely damaged retinas--all classic symptoms of infant shaking. The baby is now on life support in critical condition. He has minimal brain activity, is hooked to a ventilator and a feeding tube, and has no independent movement. The prognosis for recovery is very poor.
Like many (if not most) shaken baby cases, this one involves a babysitting dad who most likely got "frustrated" and took out his anger on a defenseless baby.
Tinley Park infant in critical condition
March 6, 2010
BY BECKY SCHLIKERMAN
An infant is on life support, hanging on to his life, and authorities said his father is to blame.
Jason Schuit, 30, 7311 Sandalwood Drive, Tinley Park, was charged Thursday with aggravated battery to a child after shaking his 2 1 / 2 -month-old son Dec. 19, Tinley Park police said in a news release.
The infant, now 5 months old, is in critical condition at Hope Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn, authorities said . He has minimal brain activity, is connected to a ventilator and a feeding tube and has no independent movement, according to court records.
Friday, a judge set bail for Schuit at $150,000 and ordered him to stay away from his home and from his two children - the injured boy and his 3-year-old brother, Cook County state's attorney's office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said.
Court records show Schuit was home alone with the baby on Dec. 19. About 7 p.m., he called 911 and said the child was not breathing, court records show.
The child was taken to Palos Community Hospital then transported to Hope Children's Hospital, where he was diagnosed with bleeding in his brain, rib fractures and severely damaged retinas, court records show.
"Doctors, after extensive testing, determined that the infant had been shaken," police said. They offered no motive for the abuse.
A child in this condition has an "extraordinarily low chance" of recovery and an "extraordinarily high chance" of death, said Dr. Steven Salzman, an trauma surgeon at Christ Medical Center. But Salzman said he has not treated Schuit's child.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has investigated the incident and found allegations of abuse against Schuit and the child's mother, spokesman Kendall Marlowe said.
The mother has not been charged and Simonton said she couldn't comment on whether she might face charges. The SouthtownStar is not naming the mother because she has not been charged.
The injured infant's 3-year-old brother is in the care of relatives, Marlowe said.
DCFS had no previous contact with the family, Marlowe said.
Schuit is next scheduled in court March 18.
Several of the Schuits' neighbors declined to comment Friday, and no one answered the door at the Schuits' apartment