Muncie man accused of beating newborn

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MUNCIE (Feb. 11, 2014) – A Muncie man who admits he has “anger issues” is accused of beating a newborn.

Daniel Strunk, 27, Muncie, faces charges of battery on a child and neglect of a dependent, both class B felonies.

According to court documents, the investigation started Saturday after the one-month-old child Strunk was caring for went to the emergency room at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital. The baby’s mother said the boy hadn’t been eating and was vomiting. Doctors determined the boy had a broken leg and also noticed he had rib fractures.

The mother told doctors she “sat on the baby’s leg about a week ago” while he was lying on the couch. The Department of Child Services contacted police about the boy’s injuries. A doctor said the injuries appeared to be indicative of child abuse.

Police questioned both the mother and Strunk. The mother said she left her son in Strunk’s care from about 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. She said “the baby was crying when she went to check on him.” Strunk told her the baby cried and screamed all day, the woman told investigators. She also aid Strunk sent her a text message warning her not to take the baby to the hospital because “they will call CPS.”

When police talked to Strunk, he told them that the boy’s mother was home all day and that the baby “was fine and not fussy.” He also denied texting with the woman and said he’d gotten help with “anger issues with his kids” but had gotten better.

When police told him the mother informed them that he’d been with the boy all day, Strunk admitted he’d watched the baby. He said he “gets upset with the baby crying and will just put him in another room.” He noticed the boy’s leg seemed to be hurting and said “I wasn’t that rough with him.”

Neither parent had an explanation for the fractured ribs, according to court documents. Both of the couple’s children were taken into custody by CPS.

According to the Muncie Star Press, Strunk was accused of beating a child with a belt in August 2011. In September, he was convicted of battery causing injury and sentenced to time served in the Delaware County Jail in addition to 15 months probation. Strunk lost parental rights to two other children before his most recent arrest, the newspaper reported. He was also convicted of battery in 2010 in Muncie City Court.