Father allegedly breaks 5-week-old son's ribs, bruises cheek

Father allegedly breaks 5-week-old son's ribs, bruises cheek

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Benjamin Cooper Benjamin Cooper
YOUNGTOWN, Ariz. -

A father was arrested Wednesday for allegedly breaking several of his 5-week-old son's ribs by squeezing him too hard and causing a bruise on his face.

Police said 19-year-old Benjamin Cooper admitted to allegedly squeezing his son so hard, he broke several of his ribs. He also admitted allegedly dropping the boy in his crib, causing his face to bruise.

The 5-week-old was brought to a hospital for dehydration, bruising and failure to thrive on Tuesday. According to police, doctors took x-rays of the baby and found healing rib fractures.

A nurse, who saw Cooper with the baby, told police he acted rough by holding his hand over the baby's mouth when he cried and wrapping him very tightly in a blanket.

A doctor told detectives the baby's injuries were most likely caused by someone squeezing the baby and that the bruising on the baby's face couldn't have been caused by falling on a pacifier, which was how Cooper explained the bruise.

When interviewed on Wednesday, police said both parents denied hurting the baby.

After being questioned by detectives further, they said Cooper confessed to causing the baby's broken ribs by swaddling him too hard. He also admitted to accidentally dropping the baby on the wooden part of the crib, and not a pacifier.

Cooper was booked into jail and faces one count of child abuse.

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