Police charge South Hills couple after injuries to 2-month-old discovered
Police charged a South Hills couple with endangering the welfare of children after authorities allegedly discovered injuries to their 2-month-old son consistent with child abuse.
Scott Township Police charged Michael Charles Koban, 34, and Ashley Koban, 32, on Thursday, a month after they and medics went to their Bower Hill Road home in response to a call that the child had fallen and hit his head. They were arrested Friday, court records state.
Police also charged Michael Koban with aggravated assault. Ashley Koban is charged with intimidation, retaliation or obstruction in a child abuse case.
Both were arraigned Friday night and released on nonmonetary bonds, according to court records. They are scheduled for preliminary hearings on Oct. 17.
Michael Koban has worked as a telecommunicator with Allegheny County Emergency Services since September 2017. He is currently suspended without pay, according to county spokeswoman Amie Downs.
According to a criminal complaint against Michael Koban, police and medics went to the Kobans’ home just before noon on Sept. 3 in response to a report a 2-month-old had fallen and hit its head, causing a large bump.
In addition to the 2-month-old, the couple has three other sons, ages 17-months, 7 years and 12 years.
The 17-month old was the only other child home at the time. Michael Koban contacted Ashley Koban, who was at work, and she called 911 and returned home.
According to the complaint, Michael Koban told police he believed the 17-month-old pulled the 2-month-old out from a baby swing in their living room while he was making a bottle in the kitchen.
Police said they learned the next day from Allegheny County Children, Youth and Families that the 2-month-old had multiple fractured ribs.
A medical exam Sept. 4 found the child had a skull fracture and bleeding inside the skull in addition to the rib fractures that were in different stages of healing. The doctor that performed the examination said that the type of injury to the ribs “is more than likely caused by a squeeze or possible strike which would label this as signs of possible child abuse,” the complaint states.
Police served search warrants on the couple’s cell phones. Police allegedly found several searches on Michael Koban’s phone relating to rib fractures, shaken baby syndrome, brittle bones in babies, “is this an abused child?” and “could a car seat that is too tight.”
Police said they found several text messages on Ashley Koban’s phone to her sisters dated between July 30 and Sept. 3 in which she expresses concern about her husband, including not believing his claim that the 17-month-old pulled the 2-month-old out of the swing. In messages in August, she calls Michael Koban “literally (expletive) evil,” and says that she can’t trust him with the children is “sickening.”
In the oldest cited message, dated July 30, Ashley Koban said Michael Koban hit their dog “so hard” for barking once because of loud thunder.
A criminal complaint supporting the charges against Ashley Koban was not available.
Scott Township Police could not be reached for comment Saturday.
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .