DELAWARE COUNTY, Ind. — Police in Delaware County arrested a Farmland man in connection to a traumatic brain injury that nearly killed an 18-month-old child.
Just after 4 p.m. on March 17, the Gaston Police Department was called to a Gaston home in reference to an unconscious child. The toddler was taken to a hospital in Muncie before being flown to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the child was rushed into surgery for a craniotomy. An evaluation by a member of Riley’s Child Protection Team found the child had “acute” injuries, meaning the injuries likely happened shortly before the child became unconscious.
Investigators learned Andrew Scott, 19, was taking care of the child at the time. He told investigators he laid the toddler down for a nap at 2:35 p.m. and then went outside, leaving the child unattended.
Court documents show Scott says he later heard crying from inside and went to check on the child. He said the child’s eyes were “blinking rapidly,” and the child was “screaming bloody murder.” He took the child outside to the child’s mother and called 911.
Staff at Riley found the child had a near fatal, acute traumatic brain injury, a possible fracture to the L1 vertebra, and compression fractures to at least four other vertebrae. Both the brain injury and fracture to the L1 vertebra were classified as non-accidental/inflicted by the hospital’s Child Protection Team.
Court documents show the door was closed when Scott was in the room with the child, and there was no surveillance equipment or baby monitors. It’s unclear exactly what happened that led to the child’s acute injuries.
Multiple people told investigators the child did not like Scott. Scott was in a relationship with the child’s mother for about two months before the acute injuries, and court documents show the child was seen with bruises and ruptured blood vessels in the eye during this time period.
One witness said just days before March 17, Scott was seen “aggressively” picking the child up and “aggressively” putting the child down.
Scott admitted to discipling the toddler, including spanking.
He was arrested on April 6 for neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury.
A Riley physician said the toddler will likely require ongoing physical, occupational, and speech therapy. A ventilator and G-J feeding tube was also used for the child’s recovery.
The child’s mother confronted Scott multiple times about his aggressiveness with the 18-month old, according to court documents. They are no longer together.