NAUGATUCK -- A 19-year-old mother accused of shaking her 4-month-old boy said she did it because she became frustrated with his crying, Naugatuck police said Saturday.
Emergency services were called on Nov. 1 when another caretaker, who was not the boy's mother, found the baby unresponsive while the mother was at work. A medical crew performed CPR on the boy and brought him to Waterbury Hospital; the boy was later airlifted to Hartford Children’s Medical Center where it was determined he had bleeding on the brain and a fractured leg, police say.
Police conducted an investigation and talked to all people who had watched the baby recently. The mother, Alexandra Valentine of 933 Rubber Ave., admitted to police that she had shaken the baby a week prior; police still do not know how the baby fractured his leg.
Medical personnel determined that the baby had some pre-existing medical conditions but that the injuries went beyond those, said Lt. Bryan Cammarata, Naugatuck police spokesman.
“This is a very unfortunate situation,” he said. “She’s 19 years old, and the reasons she did it are all the reasons you would think a young mother would do something like this. It certainly doesn’t make it right. …It’s no one thing or a couple things that caused this to happen; there are a number of circumstances.”
Cammarata said medical personnel say it is too early to tell whether the baby will have permanent brain damage.
Valentine has been charged with first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment and risk of injury to a child. The most serious charge, first-degree assault, is a Class B felony that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison if the victim is under 10 years old. Read the full statute here.