ZERBE TOWNSHIP, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A gut-wrenching crime leaves a three-year-old girl in critical condition. A 19-year-old man from Trevorton is jailed with causing those life-threatening injuries.
“My heart goes out to that little child. I just hope to God that she is ok,” Karen Wywadis said.
Wywadis saw emergency responders lined up at a house on the 700 block of West Shamokin Street in Zerbe Township Thursday night. Emergency responders were called because a three-year-old girl was having seizures.
State police soon learned the child was severely injured. Troopers say 19-year-old Jahrid Burgess of Trevorton was beating the toddler since July, causing broken ribs, bruising and brain injuries. One neighbor who chose not to go on camera tells Eyewitness News the child looked lifeless when carried out by EMS.
“How do you look at a child and their innocence and what actually makes you do harmful things to children. Like they’re sick,” the neighbor said.
State police say there was another victim who was in a romantic relationship with Burgess. She told police that before the child began having seizures, Burgess grabbed the child by the throat, picked her up, pushing her against the wall, adding Burgess put the child down and knocked her down when she tried to walk away.
“They can’t defend themselves. Unless it’s their parents. We should be their defenders and these kids are not capable of defending their own children,” Wywadis said.
Neighbors say that Burgess and the victims had moved to the apartment less than a month ago. Burgess remains jailed at Northumberland County Prison.
He’s charged with multiple counts including aggravated assault and child endangerment.