HANOVER TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The Hanover Township Police Department arrested a man who they say shook and squeezed a seven-month-old baby causing near-fatal injuries.
On May 12, officials said Romie Brown brought a seven-month-old child to Geisinger Children’s Hospital in Danville for hemangioma and increased head size.
The hospital reported to a Children and Youth caseworker that the seven-month-old had fractures to her left arm and three ribs, as well as three brain bleeds and small collections of fluids in the brain.
According to court documents, doctors at the hospital stated one bleed was from 3-5 days prior to the visit, the second bleed was from 5-14 days prior to the visit, and the third bleed was from 14-20 days prior to the visit.
Doctors considered the infant to be in critical condition and classified as sustaining Trauma-2 injuries. The hospital said the referral was evaluated as a “near-fatality” visit.
In a May interview, police said Brown told them he could not recall any incidents in April and May that would explain the injuries.
A month later, investigators said the doctor that treated the infant told police officers the injuries sustained could not have been accidental and that the fractures were in line with injuries sustained from being “shaken.”
Investigators said Brown told them he could recall an incident in April when he was frustrated that the child was uncontrollably crying and the difficulty of trying to change the infant’s diaper. Police said Brown told them that, “set him off.”
Police said Brown told them this in the interview:
“I did take advantage of the strength I have as an adult,” Brown told police.
Interviewers said Brown told them he then squeezed the baby and yelled at himself.
Officers said Brown went on to recall another incident where he held the infant up in the air by their arms for 2.5 to 3 minutes while the infant screamed in pain.
In another incident, police said Brown told them he did to the infant, “What a hydraulic press would do to a piece of plastic.” He went on to say he squeezed the infant in his hands until he heard, “bone breaking, sounded like a snap.” After squeezing her he held her in his arms and spun around in circles, “really fast,” for several minutes.
Officers said Brown told them he knew he used all of his strength because he woke up sore the next day.
Brown is being charged with aggravated assault with attempts to cause serious bodily injury with extreme indifference, three counts of endangering the welfare of children, aggravated assault against a victim less than six, and other related charges.
His bail is set at $75,000.
He is being held in the Luzerne County Prison.