Daughter Fighting For Her Life
A 27-year-old Elmhurst man has been charged with firstdegree assault after his two-month-old daughter suffered lifethreatening injuries, including bleeding on the brain, the Queens District Attorney’s Office announced.
The child, who is on life-support, has been diagnosed with severe injuries that resulted from abusive head trauma. The child is presently in grave condition and if she does not survive the charges will be upgraded.
Israel Garcia, 27, of 41st Avenue in Elmhurst, was arraigned on Wednesday, May 30 in Queens Criminal Court on a criminal complaint charging him with first-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child. He was ordered held without bail and to return to court on June 11. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
According to the charges, the infant, Maria Gordillo, who was born on Mar. 12, arrived at the emergency room at Elmhurst Medical Center on May 28 in an unresponsive condition and was thereafter transferred to New York University Hospital.
Medical tests revealed the infant to be suffering from multiple subdural hematomas (bleeding on the brain), retinal hemorrhages in the left eye (bleeding in the eye), old and new brain injuries (resulting from trauma and oxygen deprivation to the brain), multiple old rib fractures and various bruises on her left foot and back.
According to the complaint, doctors who examined the infant have determined that the injuries are serious and life-threatening.
It is alleged that the injuries are consistent with non-accidental inflicted abuse head trauma (including Shaken Baby Syndrome) which occurs when a baby is repeatedly and violently subjected to acceleration and deceleration rotational forces that cause brain damage which may result in permanent brain injury or death. In addition, it is alleged that the nature and extent of the baby’s rib fractures are consistent with an adult grabbing the baby around the torso and forcefully squeezing the rib cage. ` According to the complaint, Garcia, who is the baby’s biological father, admitted that in early May he came home from work tired and frustrated, heard the baby crying, forcefully grabbed and squeezed the baby around her torso and moved her repeatedly in an up and down motion.
He allegedly said that he believed he injured the baby’s ribs at that time but did not tell anyone.
Finally, according to the complaint, Garcia admitted that on May 28, he was alone with the baby and the baby woke up from a nap and started to cry. He then allegedly forcefully grabbed the baby and shook her repeatedly for approximately three minutes until she stopped crying and appeared to go to sleep.
Garcia allegedly admitted that he saw the baby’s head moving backward and forward and that thereafter the baby stopped breathing and went limp. He then admitted that he attempted to revive the baby and called 911.
The case was investigated by detectives assigned to the New York City Police Department’s Queens Child Abuse Squad.
“Under no circumstances should a baby be shaken,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown in a statement. “Three seconds of shaking is all it takes to cause irreparable injury or even death.”
Senior Assistant District Attorney Leigh Bishop, of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Marjory D. Fisher, Bureau Chief, and Kenneth M. Appelbaum and Lucinda C. Suarez, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Charles A. Testagrossa and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.
It was noted that criminal charges are merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.