MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 31-year-old Eagan man has been charged with malicious punishment of a child, after police say he broke several bones of his 11-week-old daughter.
According to the criminal complaint, Derek Dell Schindler was the primary caretaker of his daughter when she broke her leg, fractured nine ribs and suffered brain injuries, including bleeding in her brain.
On June 14, the infant was seen by her regular pediatrician in St. Paul and the child’s mother expressed concern because her leg had been swollen for the last two weeks. The pediatrician X-rayed the leg, discovered a fracture and advised the parents to take her immediately to the emergency room.
According to the complaint, Schindler told the mother of the child that they should wait until the next day to bring the girl to the ER. A friend of Schindler, who was present at the time, told police he refused to take the child to the hospital and instead drove back to their home in Eagan.
The mother of the child finally called Schindler’s father, who came to the couple’s apartment and took the mother and child to the emergency room, while Schindler followed in another vehicle.
At the hospital, full body X-rays, MRI and CT scans were conducted, which revealed a femur fracture and tibia fracture in the child’s right leg. The MRI revealed as many as nine rib fractures and blood in the child’s brain.
According to the complaint, the “injuries were consistent with grabbing, twisting or jerking of the legs and violent squeezing or shaking.”
The mother told the nurse she was working outside the home and that Schindler was the primary caretaker while she was away.
He said about two weeks ago, he heard a “pop” when he leaned forward to stop the family cat from jumping on the baby.
Social services and police were notified of the girl’s injuries. Schindler denied harming his daughter. He said when the pediatrician advised them to take her to the emergency room, he thought they could treat her at home because “she was moving her leg fine.”
The infant was discharged from the hospital on June 21 and placed in foster care.