Baby injured accidentally, suspect says
BURRELL TOWNSHIP — The Blairsville man charged Friday with assaulting a toddler told state police investigators he found the boy unresponsive early Friday morning and performed CPR before calling 911.
A doctor told police the child’s injuries were acute and not accidental.
State police at Indiana Friday night arrested Juan Campbell, 27, of 88 Susan Drive, and charged him with aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment.
Citizens’ Ambulance Service responded to the apartment at 2:33 a.m. Friday, and the child, identified in a criminal complaint as Malachi Patterson, 20 months old, was transported first to Indiana Regional Medical Center and then to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh where he was in critical condition Saturday night.
Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty said the child’s mother, Jamie Lynn (Patterson) Campbell, was hospitalized at the time after giving birth to another child. Juan Campbell, according to Dougherty, is the mother’s husband but is not Malachi’s father.
Juan Campbell was held in the Indiana County Jail with bail set at $150,000.
According to the criminal complaint, the toddler was taken to Children’s Hospital Pittsburgh with bruises on his left ear and cheek and his nose. A physician with the Children’s Advocacy Center told investigators the injuries suffered by the victim were not the result of an accident.
Also according to the criminal complaint, Juan Campbell told state police in an interview that he put Malachi in his bed with him and his son, age 6. At about 2:30 a.m. Friday he noticed Malachi wasn’t moving and wasn’t responding.
According to the court document, Campbell said he performed CPR on the boy, called the boy’s mother to tell her something was wrong, then called 911.
Campbell also told police he did not abuse the victim. He acknowledged he, Campbell, was the only adult in the bedroom when something happened to the boy.
Linda Patterson, Jamie Lynn Campbell’s mother, was also staying in the apartment and was also interviewed by the state police investigators. According to the criminal complaint, Patterson told police she checked on Malachi in his bedroom at about 10:30 p.m. and he was then uninjured and sleeping.
Patterson told investigators Campbell woke her at 2:30 a.m. and told her something was wrong with Malachi. She said she went and picked the toddler up and he was unresponsive, and she noticed a bruise on the boy’s left cheek.
Dougherty said the investigation is continuing.