Baton Rouge police arrested a 28-year-old man after he brought his infant daughter, who is now in critical condition with no brain activity, to the hospital Wednesday morning with signs of blunt force trauma.
Staff working at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center called police about 10:45 a.m. Wednesday to report that John William Hope’s 3-month-old child arrived with life-threatening injuries — three skull fractures, multiple rib fractures, face and neck bruising, a bloody mouth and blood-shot eyes, the police report says.
John Hope and the baby’s mother, Christine Hope, told doctors their daughter had fallen off a changing table, but emergency room staff said the child’s injuries did not align with the parents’ story, the report says.
The staff said the baby’s injuries were not consistent with a fall. “Injuries around the (child’s) neck were consistent with someone grabbing the baby by the neck,” the report says.
As of Friday afternoon, the baby was “in critical but stable condition with no brain activity,” Baton Rouge police spokesman Cpl. Don Coppola said. That means the baby is in critical condition, but its heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels remain normal. The Lake would not provide information on the condition of the baby.
Baton Rouge police could not say whether the baby was on life support or not.
John and Christine Hope were taken in for questioning. The father told police he left the baby on a changing table about 8 a.m. Wednesday while going to retrieve a bottle. After he left the room, he heard a crash, he told police, and walked back in to find the child on the floor. He told Christine Hope the same story, and the couple took the infant to the hospital.
He told police a knot on the baby’s head was caused earlier that morning when the baby head-butted him, but he had no explanation for the marks around the baby’s neck, the report says. Christine Hope said the baby had no marks on her before going to sleep the night before.
The state Department of Children and Family Services is investigating the family, spokeswoman Grace Weber said Friday.
Records do not show the mother was arrested, but John Hope, of 1919 Boulevard de Province, Apt. 132, was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on a count of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile.
* This article was edited after publication.