KYLERTOWN – A local man is behind bars after his girlfriend’s one-year-old child was allegedly found face-down in a bath tub with numerous bruises.
Dontae C. Thomas, 25, of Philipsburg is charged by Pennsylvania State Police with three felony counts each of aggravated assault and child endangerment.
Rockview- and Clearfield-based state troopers responded to Thomas’ Chester Hill apartment with emergency personnel around 11:41 a.m. Feb. 11, according to the affidavit.
The child’s injuries were observed by state police before he was flown by medical helicopter to the UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.
In an interview on-scene, Thomas identified himself as the live-in boyfriend of the child’s mother. He said he was giving the child a bath but left to get some clothes for him.
When he returned to the bathroom, he said the child’s head was under water. He reportedly removed the child from the tub, and though he was breathing, his body was “limp.”
Thomas said he contacted the child’s mother who instructed him to call police/911 for help, which he did. He also attempted to perform CPR.
In a second interview, Thomas allegedly admitted to shaking the child while in bed the morning of Feb. 10. He said the child woke him with blood dripping from his mouth from biting his tongue.
Thomas said he grabbed the child, shaking him approximately three times. Allegedly, as Thomas shook the child, he struck his head on the headboard of the bed.
State police also spoke with Dr. Hannah Sahud, MD, who called the child’s injuries “near-fatal” and diagnostic of abuse. “The child has a brain bleed and numerous bruises from head to toe.”
She concluded his bruising didn’t occur from falling down or bumping into objects, and also suspected he may have other injuries but couldn’t yet confirm.
Thomas is being held at Clearfield County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail with a preliminary hearing scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Feb. 22 during centralized court.