A father was arrested after his 4-month-old daughter suffered brain and skull injuries at the family’s Edinburgh home.
Joseph Kowalchick, 30, was arrested on a charge of aggravated battery after he told police he had thrown the baby onto the couch.
Police and ambulances came to the home in the 1000 block of Main Cross Street just after 5:30 p.m. Monday when Kowalchick called 911. He told dispatchers his baby was unresponsive.
The baby was breathing, but her eyes were wide open, she was not blinking and had bruises on both sides of her head, according to the report.
The girl was taken to Johnson Memorial Hospital in Franklin and then flown to Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis. Doctors examined her and found that she had a temperature of 95 degrees, which is indicative of a brain injury, the report said. Doctors also found the girl had two types of brain hemorrhages, bleeding in the eyes that can occur when babies are shaken, bulging in the child’s soft spot on the head and buckling in a joint between plates of the skull, the report said.
Kowalchick told police that he was alone watching his daughter and his girlfriend’s 2-year-old on Monday. He had recently had surgery on his nose and ears.
He told police he had accidentally knocked the baby off the couch while reaching toward the 2-year-old and that the infant fell on her back, the report said. He said the baby was not acting right after the fall so he called 911, the report said.
He later told a Department of Child Services worker that after the baby fell on the floor, he had tripped and fallen on top of her, according to the report.
The doctor who examined the baby said the injuries were not caused by the child falling off the couch or an adult falling on top of her, the report said. The doctor told police that the injuries were caused by either being shaken or thrown against an object with force, the report said.
Police went to Kowalchick’s home Tuesday to have him re-enact what happened and video record it. While speaking with police during the re-enactments, Kowalchick told police he threw the girl against the couch, the report said.
Later Tuesday he called police and said he remembered picking up something while changing the baby and slamming it down with force and then throwing it down with force, and then called 911, the report said.
Kowalchick told police he had served as a Marine and that he and the baby’s mother had planned to get married later this year.
Kowalchick was taken to the Johnson County jail, where he was being held on $16,000 bond.