Doctors: Child's Injuries Caused Him 'Substantial Pain'

SHALER TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A young woman is facing charges in the alleged abuse of a 5-month-old baby at a Shaler Township daycare center.

Julia Spencer, 19, was arrested at her home Tuesday and is now awaiting arraignment in the Allegheny County Jail on multiple charges.

The baby boy was treated and released from the Children’s Hospital emergency room. Investigators say he was suffering from redness, swelling and bruises to his head, neck and shoulders, as well as a laceration on his chin and a bruise inside his right ear.

According to the criminal complaint, doctors reported that the child’s injuries caused him “substantial pain.”

Shaler Township Police say they began investigating Spencer after Children Youth and Family services contacted them about a tip they received through Childline.

According to police, the incident happened at the Glenshaw Presbyterian Early Learning Center where Spencer was a caregiver.

Brenda Waters’ Report:

Police say they issued a warrant for Spencer after reviewing video provided by CYF and bringing the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office into the investigation.

According to the criminal complaint, the video allegedly shows Spencer “recklessly” moving the baby from a swing to a bouncy chair and also to a crib.

Investigators say she used “significant force” to get the child into the bouncy chair and then continued to push and shove the boy.

When she moved the boy from the bouncy chair to the crib, police say the video shows the child became stuck under a toy bar on the chair. Spencer is accused of trying to “physically yank the baby by the arms out of the bouncy chair.”

After freeing the boy from the chair, police say Spencer carried him to the crib and “slammed the baby down causing the victim’s head to bounce off the padded mattress.” She also then covered the baby from head to toe in a blanket.

Police say they met with the assistant director of the daycare center and seized the equipment, video and accident report filed by Spencer about the child’s injuries.

”Detectives went down to interview the people at the learning center. They obtained another copy of the video, found it disturbing and went to secure a warrant for the arrests of the individual,” Shaler Township Police Chief Bryan Kelly said.

The criminal complaint reports that Spencer told the child’s mother that the baby bumped his head on another toy.

Spencer is charged with endangering the welfare of a child, aggravated assault, and intimidation, retaliation or obstruction in a child abuse case.

Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.

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