CLEARFIELD – A DuBois man charged with aggravated assault for injuring his four-month-old child has signed a plea agreement.
Dean Garrett Sulin, 30, was charged in October by DuBois City police with three counts of aggravated assault in relation to incidents occurring in January of 2018 at his residence.
A plea agreement was put on the record before Judge Paul E. Cherry on Monday, according to online court documents.
The investigation began after a representative from Clearfield County Children, Youth and Family Services contacted police regarding a suspected case of child abuse.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, the victim had been taken by ambulance to Penn Highlands DuBois on Jan. 31, 2018 where it was discovered she had abusive head trauma or “shaken baby syndrome.”
When police questioned the attending physician, he said the victim had notable swelling in the frontal area of her brain, which was confirmed to be a bilateral subdural hematoma.
The last time the victim had been seen by a medical professional, was Jan. 28, 2018 for vomiting.
Hospital staff reportedly told police the parents “did not appear to be concerned about the welfare of the victim.”
Due to the severity of her injuries, the child was flown to UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.
In an interview with investigators on Jan. 31, 2018, the victim’s uncle stated that Sulin had admitted to him that he had dropped the baby several times.
This witness had personally seen Sulin yell and aggressively shake the victim when she was crying, police said.
Dr. Jennifer Wolford at the Children’s Hospital indicated the child had signs of abusive head trauma and an older, previous instance of abusive head trauma.
An MRI showed the victim had retinal hemorrhages.
The details of her injuries indicated that she had been injured just prior to emergency personnel arriving at her home, the doctor concluded.
Dr. Wolford stated that the victim had life-threatening injuries upon admission to the hospital and was a “near fatality as a result of the abuse.”
She warned that if the baby were returned to that environment and the abuse continued, she could die.
In her interview with police on Feb. 1, 2018, the mother admitted to seeing prior injuries to the child after being in the care of Sulin including a cut and bruise to her bottom lip, a bruise on her buttocks, a bruise to the left of her stomach and on her forehead.
She stated that in the week prior the child had been sick; crying, vomiting, not sleeping and appeared to be in pain.
Police say she reported that Sulin was aggressive with the child, yelling and screaming at the victim when she cried.
She had seen him pick the baby up only by her arms and aggressively shake her while yelling “shut the [expletive] up” in the child’s face, according to the complaint.
His aggressive behavior with the child started when she was a month old and continued until she was taken to the hospital, the mother said.
She explained that on Jan. 31, 2018, she was at work when Sulin called to tell her EMS was taking the baby to the hospital. The child was reportedly in his care exclusively at that time.
When Sulin spoke with police in February of 2018, he said he was driving around with the child, looking for work when the baby vomited on herself.
He took her home, where she vomited again, this time on him.
Sulin told investigators that he laid the baby down while he took a shower to clean up.
When he returned to her, she let out a loud yell and went limp. Her head rolled around and her eyes rolled in the back of her head, and this is when he called EMS, he said.
Sulin confirmed the mother’s report that the child had been sick for a week, describing the same symptoms.
He reportedly admitted to dropping her in the bathtub, causing a bruise on her buttocks.
Police say he stated he was not fit to be a father and that he never wanted a child.
Both the reporting officer and hospital staff noted that while at the hospital, Sulin was seemingly more concerned about whether he would be in trouble for the baby’s injuries than the baby’s condition, according to the criminal complaint.
Sulin will be scheduled for sentencing within 60 days.