ABERDEEN, S.D. (KELO) — A 20-year-old Aberdeen man has been arrested and charged with aggravated battery of an infant.
According to court documents, Aberdeen police charge that Whyatt Kessler did intentionally or recklessly cause serious bodily injury to an infant, less than three years old, which led to intracranial or intraocular bleeding, swelling of or damage to the brain.
In an affidavit describing the interview process between police and Kessler, an officer recounts questioning Kessler about a skull fracture, intracranial bleeding, fractured ribs and bruising on the chest and face of his girlfriend’s child.
Throughout several rounds of questioning, the officer recounts Kessler telling them he had bumped the child’s head on the bathroom counter and the kitchen counter. He also said the infant had rolled off his bed, the infant had fallen off the bathroom counter, that he squeezed her chest and that he’d dropped her while ‘jumping’ with her on a hard floor.
Pressed throughout for more detail, Kessler told the officer that he struggled with depression and anxiety, and that the infant’s crying caused him stress.
Eventually Kessler told the officer that on one night when he was up with the crying infant, he hit her in the side of the head as hard as he could after she had fallen off the counter.
The officer said Kessler told them he was stressed out because the infant was crying after falling from the counter and that he’d intended to punch the counter, not the infant.
Kessler left the police department with his lawyer; he was later arrested and charged.