3-month-old undergoes brain surgery after apparent abuse

Mug shot of Andrei J. Blakesley courtesy the Allen County Sheriff's Department.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)  A Fort Wayne man is facing battery and neglect of a dependent charges after authorities say he beat his child to the point he needed brain surgery.

According to the Affidavit of Probable Cause, the baby was taken to the hospital on June 3 by his mother and father, Andrei J. Blakesley. The infant was vomiting uncontrollably, had a slightly bloody nose, red cheeks and a swollen lip. The baby also had swollen eyes and reddened bruises developing on the side of his face.

The hospital determined that the baby had two hemorrhages in his brain.

The Department of Child Services was contacted to begin an investigation which led to the involvement of the Fort Wayne Police Department. An officer determined that the baby had been left alone with Blakesley on June 3 and called the father in for a couple interviews.

Blakesley apparently changed his story a few times in his interviews with police, saying he had left the baby with a bottle on the couch and came back 15 minutes later to see bruises on the baby’s face. At one point, according to the Affidavit, he said he had dropped the 3-month-old after tripping over their other, 20-month-old son. He then said that he had begun to drop his son, but then tried to drop him forward onto the couch.

Blakesley told police he played video games until his fiance, the baby’s mother, came home from work at 11 a.m.

The officer ran the scenarios Blakesley had given by a doctor at the hospital. The doctor said the injuries demonstrated a “pattern of abuse” rather than a one-time incident such as those described by Blakesley. According to the Affidavit, the three-month-old was suffering from “bi-lateral, severe retinal hemorrhages with subdural hemorrhages” as well as two hemorrhages in his brain. The doctor said one hemorrhage was three weeks old and required neurosurgery.

The doctor said there was a very good chance the baby would be blind or partially blind due to the retinal hemorrhages. The infant could also develop severe development issues such as Cerebral Palsy, but the extent of the brain injuries wouldn’t become completely apparent for a number of years.

Andrei J. Blakesley was arrested on June 11. He faces a charge of neglect of a dependent, a class B felony and a charge of battery.

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