Man charged with assaulting infant in Lackawanna County

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A Scranton man is in custody after “aggressively shaking” an infant to the point of unconsciousness, police say.

According to the criminal complaint, Scranton Police and EMS were sent to the 200 block of South Irving Avenue for a report of a small child who was unresponsive.

Officers say as they arrived, the 11-month-old victim, was given to paramedics and emergency medical technicians who performed emergency medical care while on their way to Moses Taylor Hospital.

The infant was stabilized upon arrival at the hospital. Court documents stated the victim needed a higher level of medical care and was flown to Geisinger Hospital in Danville.

The criminal complaint reads, while at the hospital, police were made aware that the child had injuries to the upper forehead region and just below the right eye.

Police say they spoke with medical staff working on the infant and who said the victim was very lethargic and vomiting while in their care.

According to law enforcement, police brought in Devion Rugar and the victim’s mother for questioning. Rugar waived his right to counsel and agreed to make a statement, police say.

Officers say during the interview Rugar stated he awoke to the infant crying very loudly, which he described as “the baby lost her mind.”

Rugar said he took the child downstairs to a reclining chair where he was rocking the infant for around three minutes when her right arm went limp. The child started gasping for air and was unresponsive, the complaint reads.

Officers say Rugar then ran upstairs to get the infant’s mother and as she called 9-1-1 he began to try and resuscitate the child using CPR.

However, during the interview, Rugar made conflicting statements about what took place. Therefore police confronted him about his statements, his actions, and the victim’s injuries, not adding up with his version of events, police say.

The criminal complaint reads, Rugar explained that while holding the infant in the recliner, he “aggressively rocked the infant” in his arms in a way that caused serious life-threatening head injuries to the 11-month-old.

Police say Rugar admitted he knew he shouldn’t have rocked the child that aggressively as it was inappropriate for a child of that age.

Rugar was then placed under arrest and charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault, one felony count of endangering the welfare of children, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.

He was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge Paul J. Ware and remanded to Lackawanna County Prison, unable to post the $100,000 bail.

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