California police are alleging that an 18-year-old teenaged dad in Fairfield (northeast of San Francisco), in a fit of frustrated rage, bit his own child's nose off. What had so enraged the baby's father? The child, a newborn, just would not stop crying...
Reuters reported (via Yahoo News) March 14 that Joshua Cooper was arrested and booked Thursday on felony charges of suspicion of child cruelty causing injury or death and aggravated mayhem.
Authorities were alerted to the scene by the mother of the newborn baby boy. Fairfield police spokesman Troy Oviatt said in a press release that first responders arrived at the scene of the incident, finding the child bleeding from his nose.
Oviatt stated: "One third of the child's nose had been severed off." The spokesman also noted that, due to the severity of the child's injuries, it was transferred to Children's Hospital and Research Center in Oakland after originally being taken to a local hospital.
In addition to the tip of the child's nose being bitten off, police Sergeant Samuel Rowland noted that the baby had suffered a fractured skull and was experiencing hemorrhaging around the brain, but authorities were not immediately able to determine just how the child had received those injuries.
Rowland said that the little boy was alive and stabilized.
KGO-TV in San Francisco later reported the doctors were able to reattach the severed nose tip.
The news station also reported that the baby's mother, Angelika Riggins (aged 16, although her age has been reported as 17), does not believe the story Joshua Cooper told police as to what caused him to bite off his baby boy's nose. She said she had seen no anger or stress from the child's father that morning prior to the incident.
Riggins is scheduled to appear in family court on Tuesday. The child, whose name is Ta'jon, is currently in custody of Child Protective Services. The mother said she will fight to be able to take her baby home.
Joshua Cooper faces arraignment on Monday, March 17. If convicted of the charges, he faces a maximum life sentence with the possibility of parole.