Shaken baby has brain damage; father charged
An 8-week-old girl was on life support at Children's Hospital on Friday after police say a Vandergrift man shook her so violently she suffered brain damage.
State police say Matthew Milisits, 30, of Sherman Avenue, admitted to shaking the baby Thursday morning because she wouldn't stop crying, according to a criminal complaint filed to support charges.
Milisits had custody of the girl Thursday between 8 and 11 a.m., according to police. State police initially identified the infant as Milisits' daughter, but he apparently said later that he isn't sure if the girl is his biological child, the complaint states.
When he returned the infant to her mother, Samantha Ludwiczak, of Wysocki Avenue, North Apollo, the infant was unresponsive, police said.
Before driving to Ludwiczak's home, Milisits covered the infant and her car seat with blankets. When he uncovered the baby at Ludwiczak's home, he said, she took two gasping breaths and stopped breathing, according to the complaint.
The baby was flown to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh, police said. A hospital spokeswoman declined to provide information on Friday about the baby's condition.
Dr. Janet Squires, chief of Children's Child Advocacy Center, told authorities that the infant had four unexplained bruises on her forehead and that the infant was severely shaken, which caused brain injury, according to the criminal complaint.
Milisits initially denied knowing how the baby girl was injured.
However, while in the hospital waiting room, he allegedly used a laptop computer belonging to a family member to search the Internet and viewed a news article about a Houston father who was accused of shaking his infant son, according to the complaint.
He eventually told police he had accidentally hit the infant's head on the bathroom door, but the girl didn't cry out so he “thought nothing of it,” according to court documents.
He said the infant began to cry later and then soiled her diaper, so he fed her a bottle of formula. He told police that when she wouldn't stop crying, he shook her “violently” to try to get her to stop.
Afterward he gave the girl a bottle and she stopped crying, Milisits told police.
He was committed to the Westmoreland County jail in lieu of $500,000 bond on charges of aggravated and simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and endangering the welfare of a child.
Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hax: Dad’s eagerness to fix problems inadvertently causes son to avoid him
- Steelers are banking on linebackers to improve strength of defense
- Civilian Corps to be highlighted in Connellsville
- Kaboly: Steelers fill biggest needs by drafting defensive players
- Jeannette man killed in Hempfield crash
- Apollo Historical Society will honor Nellie Bly at 151st birthday celebration
- Proposed rule on noise limits for oil, gas sites in Pa. pleases none
- Gorman: They ran for Erica who lived for the marathon
- Eastbound lanes of turnpike reopened after crash near Irwin exit
- Penguins GM: Team not disciplined enough, buyouts possible, Bennett handled incorrectly
- The power of Marcellus: Real & impressive