Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dad accused of shaking 9-week-old son; baby in "fair condition" (New Springfield, Ohio)

Dad DAVID A. BOWDISH has been accused of shaking his 9-week-old son while he was "alone" with the infant (Mom was at work). The baby developed breathing problems and is now hospitalized in "fair condition." Yet another mom and baby who could have benefited from a decent maternity leave.... it also appears that the baby was injured before.

Father shook baby, say officials
Published: Wed, December 23, 2009 @ 12:10 a.m.
By Denise Dick

NEW SPRINGFIELD — A Struthers Road man accused of shaking his 9-week-old son is to appear this morning in Struthers Municipal Court to answer the charge.

Springfield Township police arrested David A. Bowdish, 26, Tuesday at the station, said Chief Matthew Mohn.

Mohn said that on Dec. 17, a township emergency medical team was called to the Struthers Road home on a report of a baby that was having difficulty breathing. The baby, Kaleb Bowdish, who was born Oct. 13, was taken to Akron Children’s Hospital in Boardman and later flown by helicopter to the Akron facility.

Kaleb was listed in fair condition Tuesday at the hospital.

Later on Dec. 17, police received a call from a social worker at the hospital who was concerned that the child’s injuries weren’t consistent with what the father described.

“He said the baby was fussy, and he was trying to calm him by bouncing him on his knee,” said Detective Michael Tablack.

Doctors believe the baby had been shaken, he said.

“We started investigating that night,” Mohn said.

Tablack said that doctors determined that the infant suffered head injuries twice — once about two weeks ago and once the night EMS was called.

“The doctors told me that the doctors at Akron Children’s in Boardman saved [Kaleb’s] life,” the detective said.

Based on the time of the injury, police determined that Bowdish was alone with the infant, Tablack said. The mother was at work. Police spoke to both parents and then issued a warrant for Bowdish’s arrest.

Tablack asked both parents to come to the station Tuesday for more questions. When they arrived, police informed Bowdish of the warrant, arrested him and took him to jail. He is charged with felony child endangering.

“Shaken baby syndrome is a term used to describe the constellation of signs and symptoms resulting from violent shaking or shaking and impacting of the head of an infant or small child,” says the Web site of the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome.

According to the Web site, about 20 percent of cases are fatal in the first few days after injury and the majority of the survivors are left with mild to severe handicaps.