By Jeremy Walsh
A homeless East Elmhurst man has been accused of damaging his 5-month-old daughter's brain by violently shaking her while staying at a shelter earlier this month, District Attorney Richard Brown said last Thursday.
Juan Aguilar, 19, was arraigned July 16 at Queens Criminal Court on charges of assault and endangering the welfare of his child, the DA said. He was ordered held on $300,000 bail, the DA said. His next court date is July 28.
If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison, the DA said.
“The charges are very troublesome,” Brown said in a prepared statement. “The defendant should have been protecting this helpless, innocent child…. The case will be vigorously prosecuted.”
Aguilar and his daughter, Jaidlyn, were staying at the LaGuardia Family Shelter at 102-10 Ditmars Blvd., a converted hotel, July 2, authorities said. He and the infant were alone when he shook her to stop her from crying, the DA said. The baby went limp and vomited, and Aguilar called 911, the DA said.
Jaidlyn was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where she was treated and released the same day, the DA said.
A few days later, the baby was taken to Wyckoff Hospital because her eyes were rolling back in her head, authorities said. She was quickly transferred to New York Presbyterian Hospital, where doctors found she had bleeding in the brain, bleeding in her eyes and permanent brain damage from oxygen deprivation, symptoms consisted with shaken baby syndrome, the DA said.
Aguilar allegedly told investigators in a videotaped confession that he had shaken Jaidlyn at least four times between June 1 and July 2, the DA said.
The former Skyway Hotel was converted into a homeless shelter in 2002.
Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.