Alana Nicole Dinch, 20, and Jonathon James Burke, 25, both of 81 Rochester St., were both arraigned Friday evening before on-call District Judge Bill Todd and are facing charges relating to the alleged abuse of a 3-month-old baby over a period of two weeks.
The investigation began when City of Bradford Police were called to Bradford Regional Medical Center emergency department to meet McKean County Children and Youth Services for an infant with serious injuries.
The infant had a V-shaped skull fracture on the left side of her head, hematomas to the scalp and face, swelling and hemorrhages over the right and left sides of her skull and a healing fracture to her ninth left rib. The infant was transferred to Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, N.Y.
The bleeding on the brain was consistent with “shaken baby syndrome,” the criminal complaint stated. The skull fracture was consistent with blunt force trauma, “possibly caused by a pointed or sharp object.”
“At this time, the only explanations offered by Dinch were that the infant was struck with a sippy cup that was full of milk,” the complaint stated, but added that hospital staff said that was not consistent.
Sgt. Todd Erickson of the Bradford police interviewed Dinch. “After initial denials and after offering several inconsistent statements,” Dinch told him what had happened, the complaint stated.
She said she had been having a stressful time dealing with her children. She said a week-and-a-half earlier, the baby had been fussy and crying a lot. Dinch said she was tired and stressed and “couldn’t take her crying any longer,” so she picked her up “a little rough one time.” Dinch told the officer that the baby fell and that she gets “annoyed with her.” She said she thought that was what had caused the baby’s rib fracture, the criminal complaint stated.
When asked about the skull fracture, Dinch said she had been arguing with Burke and threw a wooden chair at him. The chair bounced off of him and hit the baby in the head, with the pointed part of the chair’s back directly striking the infant in the left side of her head, the complaint stated.
When another person said they were calling the police, Dinch left the residence, leaving the baby with Burke. No one at the residence sought any medical treatment for the infant until several days after she was injured, the complaint read.
Dinch told police that Burke had said the baby’s head “looked really bad,” but neither of them sought treatment for several days, the complaint read.
Dinch is charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, first-degree felonies; three counts of aggravated assault of a child, second-degree felonies; three counts of simple assault, first-degree misdemeanor; and three counts of recklessly endangering another person, second-degree misdemeanors.
Burke is charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a first-degree felony; and recklessly endangering another person, a second-degree misdemeanor.
Dinch said the baby was crying a lot, so she picked her up and “squeezed her,” and then “grabbed her by her body and shook her,” the complaint stated.
She told police that she had squeezed the baby about 10 days earlier, and shook her about three days earlier.
Both were arraigned and jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail each. Both are scheduled to appear in Central Court Dec. 27.