SACRAMENTO - A Fairfield infant is in the hospital, suffering from a skull fracture, brain hemorrhage and a partially bitten-off nose, according to Fairfield police.
Police say the child's father, Joshua Cooper, 18, bit off his 1-month-old baby's nose in frustration over the child's crying. Cooper was arrested and booked into Solano County Jail for child cruelty and aggravated mayhem.
People who live at the Parkway Manor apartments on the 1000 block of Alaska Avenue where Cooper lived with his baby, the baby's mother, and other family members are in shock.
"It's terrible. It's terrible. Literally heartbroken. I can't believe it," a neighbor who didn't want to be identified said.
Just after 8 a.m. Thursday morning police got a phone call from a hysterical young woman who reported her baby was bleeding from the nose.
"There was a substantial amount of blood," Fairfield Police Sgt. Troy Oviatt said. "It was a fairly gruesome scene."
Police didn't know what they were dealing with until they found the baby's nose on the floor of the bedroom.
"The investigation revealed the father bit the child's nose off while he was crying and he was frustrated he was not able to ease the child's crying." Oviatt added.
The baby boy is now at Oakland Children's Hospital in stable condition. A third of his nose is gone. Officials are trying to figure out how his head injuries happened.
"He was a very proud young father. I just spoke to him 2 days ago," neighbor Sheila Vogel said. "It's unbelievable to me. He was on a good track, an apprentice in an electrician program."
According to police, the baby's 17-year-old mother, and other family members were also home, but cooper was alone in the room with his son.
Vogel said she never saw Cooper behave violently.
"I'm just hoping it wasn't him," Vogel said. "And if it was, I wish he had more tools in place as a young parent."
Police are reminding the public they have programs available for parents. For more information about the Parent Project which is put on by the Crime Prevention Unit, call (707) 428-7327. And for more information about a parenting class organized by the Family Violence Unit that focuses on shaken baby syndrome and how to deal with inconsolable children call (707) 428-7354.