FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A Fort Wayne man faces charges of battery and neglect of a dependent related to critical injuries suffered by his two-month-old daughter in late February. The infant is recovering from two skull fractures and court documents allege the father may have caused the injuries by squeezing her head and chin together to try and get her to stop crying.
According to court documents filed on Wednesday, John A. Meier, 21, drove to the Walmart on Coldwater Road on the evening of February 26, with his daughter and the daughter’s mother. Because the child was sleeping in her car seat, Meier stayed in the vehicle while the mother went inside to shop. The mother told police that Meier texted her that the child had defecated and was “screaming at the top of her lungs.” A subsequent text from Meier indicated that the infant had hit her head on the steering wheel. and wouldn’t stop crying.
When the mother returned to the car from shopping she observed the child in her car seat and that even though the child was crying, she settled calmed down once the mother talked to her.
The mother told police that after arriving home she didn’t notice any injuries to the child until after she had taken a shower and that’s when she observed bruising under the child’s eyes along with redness, swelling above the eyes and blood in the girl’s nose.
The mother said Meier told her that the child had raised her head and hit the steering wheel when she was on his lap in the car while changing a diaper. The mother told police that the child could only lift her head on her tummy, not while on her back as Meier had claimed.
On February 27, officers met with the mother and called for an ambulance for the child who was placed in intensive care at a local hospital.
While being interviewed by officers, Meier told them the child kept fussing and crying, so he put one hand under her chin and one hand on her and and squeezed her mouth shut to get her to stop crying after she had bumped her head on the steering wheel.
Meier told officers he applied the pressure for one or two minutes.
After the interview, officers arrested Meier.