Man accused of slapping infant
By Janice Gregorson
Felony abuse and assault charges have been filed against a Rochester man after doctors reported seeing a handprint on the side of an infant’s face when she was brought in for a weight check in January.
A Mayo Clinic doctor, described as an expert in the field of child-abuse injuries, told police investigators that the only way the infant could have gotten that mark was from a "hard slap (using force) from an adult hand," according to the criminal complaint.
Thomas Almer Brown, 28, 4124 Seventh Place N.W., is charged with felony malicious punishment of a child, felony third-degree assault and misdemeanor domestic assault. A summons has been issued for him to be in Olmsted District Court on Aug. 13.
Rochester police were called by Mayo doctors on Jan. 29, who said they suspected physical abuse of the 5-month-old girl.
The child’s mother said she noticed the marks on the infant’s face when she got home from work Jan. 27. She asked her husband, who was caring for their children, and he said the baby must have scratched herself. The complaint said he told her the infant had been fussy all day.
Doctors checked the infant for other injuries; none were found.
Investigators interviewed Brown. He said he put the infant in her crib around noon on Jan. 27 to make lunch for his 2-year-old son. Brown said that the infant was crying, that he gave her a bottle and that she napped.
He said she took a second nap that afternoon and that he noticed marks on her face after she woke up but didn’t know where they came from. He said he would never purposely hurt his children.