Father charged with child abuse

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 16, 2005

GATESVILLE – Gates County has its first confirmed case of &uot;shaken baby syndrome,&uot; and the father, Anthony David Dail Jr.,

has been charged with felony child abuse/inflicting serious bodily injury.

Gates County Sheriff’s Deputy Sheriff Richard Haynes is the lead investigator in this case, having first learned of it when authorities at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD) in Norfolk, Va. notified Gates County Sheriff Edward Webb that they had a suspected case of child abuse.

The sheriff assigned Haynes to work the investigation as soon as they got the call on July 4.

&uot;I spoke to a social worker from CHKD who told me they had a possible abuse case,&uot; said Haynes. &uot;She said the parents’ story was that the child had fallen off a couch, struck its head on a table and then fell on a carpeted floor. They said that was the cause of the baby’s injuries.&uot;

Haynes said the child may have sustained injuries prior to Friday, July 1. He said the mother told him that she had taken the seven month old to an Elizabeth City doctor for immunizations and the infant was fussy and crying at that day.

&uot;The baby didn’t even receive any medication, but did see the doctor and we feel that it was already showing symptoms of some sort of assault,&uot; said Haynes. &uot;We suspected it was suffering from shaken baby syndrome.&uot;

By the next day, Saturday, July 2, the baby’s mother took him to Obici Hospital in Suffolk, Va. where he was seen in the emergency room, according to Haynes.

&uot;The doctor there thought the baby had a slight case of pneumonia and they gave the mother some medication and sent them home,&uot; Haynes said.

According to Deputy Haynes, the baby’s health worsened the next day.

The mother told authorities that he could not be comforted all day Sunday, July 3.

On Monday, July 4, she took her child onto the front porch to sit with him as she does and noticed that his left hand began trembling like he was having

seizures, said the deputy.

&uot;She realized that something was seriously wrong and she was advised by the rescue squad to take him back to the hospital,&uot; Haynes reported. &uot;There, the doctor ordered a CAT scan and discovered bleeding around the baby’s brain.&uot;

The child was immediately transported to CHKD and social workers there notified the sheriff they may have a case of child abuse.

Sheriff Webb credits doctors for immediately sending the baby to the Norfolk hospital.

&uot;CHKD realized right away that the injuries to the child were not consistent with what they were told by the parents,&uot; said Sheriff Webb. &uot;That’s when we began a thorough investigation.&uot;

Since the baby began treatment at King’s Daughters, he is responding and expected to make a full recovery. He is currently back at home, but will receive follow-up treatment at the hospital.

Webb added that the father, 24-year-old Dail, is charged with Class &uot;C&uot; felony child abuse.

The baby’s grandparents, owners of the home where the child lives with his mother, has legally ordered the father to stay away from the residence.

&uot;The father is cooperating with authorities,&uot; said the Sheriff. &uot;We conducted an interview with him and it was very productive.&uot;

Sheriff Webb said the young father realizes he has a problem and it is expected that he may be placed into some type of counseling.

As for the baby’s mother, she did not realize until a proper diagnosis was made that her child had been abused, said Webb.

Sheriff Webb said the mother disassociated herself from the father after learning the truth about the injuries to the baby.

The sheriff also noted that Gates County’s Department of Social Services is also involved with this incident.