Man ‘squeezed baby, breaking 24 ribs’

A MINNESOTA man has been charged for snapping nearly all of a 6-week-old boy’s ribs when he became angry with the baby’s mother earlier this month.

According to the criminal complaint, 32-year-old Mark James Nelson squeezed the infant’s torso until he heard cracking noises during an August 19 incident at a house in St Paul, Minnesota, where the accused had recently moved in with the baby’s mother, reported today.

Staff at the Hennepin County Medical Center, where the baby was treated, found that 22 of the child’s 24 ribs were broken and counted 37 separate fractures. Further injuries included bruising to the liver and lungs along with eye trauma.

Doctors also found the baby had lost a significant amount of blood through internal bleeding and the nearly 4.5kg boy required a blood transfusion.

According to the boy’s mother, she became concerned for her son when she picked him up and “he felt crunchy” and had redness in his eyes, however, she said Mr Nelson urged her not to take the boy to a doctor because his appetite was normal and “he would get better”.

When police interviewed Mr Nelson, he admitted he squeezed the boy until he heard something crack after arguing with the child’s mother about a planned camping trip.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $US30,000, or both.

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