W. Baltimore man accused in beating of infant son

July 18, 1996|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A 19-year-old West Baltimore man was charged yesterday with beating his 20-month-old son after he found the infant playing in the household trash, according to police and sources close to the investigation.

The baby was found dead by his mother, but autopsy results were not complete yesterday.

Police arrested and charged the father, Joseph Fitzgerald Sr., of the 1300 block of McCulloh St. with assault.

A police spokeswoman said the charge could be changed to murder if the medical examiner rules the death a homicide.

Police said Joseph Fitzgerald Jr. was beaten, then thrown into a playpen.

The mother came home from school, apparently several hours later, and found the lifeless body.

lTC Paramedics pronounced the infant dead at the scene.

Agent Ragina L. Cooper, a police spokeswoman, said the body was cold when police arrived.

She said officers "observed obvious signs of trauma," including a swollen head and bruises on the infant's shoulders.

An investigation led police to suspect the father, Cooper said.

A police source said the infant had been "playing in the trash" and was beaten and thrown into the playpen.

The source said the mother came home later, checked on the infant and found him "unresponsive."

Pub Date: 7/18/96

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