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Muncie Man Charged With Battery, Neglect Of Infant Son

26-year-old Michael Crook faces charges of aggravated battery and neglect after his son had bleeding of the brain, injuries consistent with child abuse.

MUNCIE, Ind. -- A Muncie man was charged Wednesday with battery, neglect of a dependent and obstruction of justice over allegations he violently shook his infant son and then lied to police about it.

On Jan. 17, Delaware County EMS was called to a home in the 1200 block of Powers Street in Muncie on a report of a 4-month-old with difficulty breathing.

Upon arrival, medics learned from the child’s father, 26-year-old Michael D. Crook Jr., that he had already performed CPR on the infant son Jayden twice. Jayden had begun breathing again by the time medics arrived.

The 4-month-old was transported to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, where it was discovered the infant had a severe bilateral subdural hemorrhage – blood pooling on both sides of the brain – and extensive rupturing of blood vessels in both eyes. The child also had swelling in his neck ligaments.

A report compiled by the Riley Child Protection Team concluded Jayden’s injuries were consistent with child abuse.

“His injuries would have resulted from violent acceleration-deceleration,” the report reads. “Inflicting his injuries would have required an amount of force that a reasonable caregiver would clearly recognize as dangerous to an 11 lb. infant (i.e. would not result from burping, bouncing, or usual infant handling). If returned to the hands of the caregiver who inflicted his injuries, Jayden is at significant risk of further injury.”

In a probable cause affidavit filed Wednesday in Delaware County, police say Crook initially lied about his involvement in the case. When presented with the medical evidence, they say he admitted to being frustrated with Jayden and shaking him to get him to stop crying.

Crook faces charges of aggravated battery, neglect of a dependent and obstruction of justice, along with a habitual offender aggravator.


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