Dad MICHAEL T. HARRIS, SR. has been charged with felony child abuse after his 3-month-old son was hospitalized with a broken arm and seven broken ribs.
Baby’s injuries lead to abuse charges against father
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV
Wednesday, 23 June 2010 18:28
Man accused of hurting 3-month-old child who suffered broken arm, ribs
A Fredonia man has been charged with abusing his 3-month-old baby son who doctors say suffered a broken arm and seven broken ribs.
Michael T. Harris Sr., 30, pleaded not guilty last week to one count of child abuse, a felony punishable by a maximum three years, six months in prison.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Ozaukee County Circuit Court, an emergency room doctor notified the sheriff’s department last month that he treated a baby for a spiral fracture to his upper left arm, an injury consistent with child abuse.
X-rays also showed four rib fractures that were beginning to heal and three ribs that were broken more recently, the complaint states.
The doctor told authorities that the baby’s mother said a neighbor child had recently fallen on her son in an attempt to explain the injury, according to the complaint. The doctor, however, said the baby’s injury was inconsistent with such an accident.
The baby’s mother told police that Harris, her boyfriend, cares for the baby during the day and that after getting home from work on May 16, she notice her son was crying and inconsolable.
The mother told authorities she has seen Harris yell at the baby and tell him to shut up, and said she believes Harris hurt the child, the complaint states.
When authorities asked Harris about the baby’s broken ribs, Harris said, “It is very well likely I could have done that,” then demonstrated how he sometimes holds the child above his head with his fingers around the baby’s midsection, according to the complaint.
Authorities also confronted Harris with a report from a child who said he saw Harris pull the baby’s arm. Harris replied, “I could have hurt (the child) at any time,” the complaint states.
Judge Sandy Williams set bail for Harris at $10,000 and bound him over for trial after a preliminary hearing last week.
Harris, who according to court records remains in jail, has been ordered not to have contact with three specific children, including the victim, or any juveniles if he posts bail.
He was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday to argue for a reduction in bail.