Bristol couple charged with risk of injury to a minor after baby diagnosed with abusive head trauma

  • In US
  • 2023-03-18 10:00:00Z
  • By Hartford Courant

A Bristol mother and stepfather face reckless endangerment and risk of injury charges after a young child suffered serious injuries and was diagnosed with abusive head trauma, according to the warrants for their arrest.

Victoria LaBarre, 27, and Jonathan Roe, 33, of South Street have been accused of failing to get the child proper medical attention "in a timely fashion" after the 3-month-old boy suffered what used to be referred to as "shaken baby syndrome," the warrants indicate.

The child was brought to Bristol Hospital in February 2022 before he was transferred to the Connecticut Children's Medical Center because he needed a higher level of care for a brain bleed. According to the warrants in the case, medical staff found the child's injury suspicious, prompting a Department of Children and Families investigator to assist police.

LaBarre and Roe told police the former was at work while Roe was looking after the child when the baby suddenly began "making a weird noise and twitching," the warrant said. Roe contacted LaBarre and said she had better come home.

LaBarre told police that, once she got home, the child cried for about 15 minutes before she called a 24-7 nurse helpline, the warrants said. She was then advised to call 911.

According to the warrants, LaBarre - who at the time the investigation was launched was the caregiver to her two children - told police she was convinced the baby had not been the same since being hit with a sippy cup. The heavily redacted warrant does not make clear how this incident occurred, though medical staff told investigators the injuries the child sustained could not have been caused by a dropped cup.

The baby, the warrants said, suffered bi-lateral retinal hemorrhaging that could result in vision issues or blindness. Police noted in the warrants that medical professionals believe the child suffered abusive head trauma - which used to be known as shaken baby syndrome. Police noted that this injury often occurs when a child is shaken in anger or frustration because the baby won't stop crying. This can lead to permanent brain damage or death.

During the investigation, police spoke to multiple people with ties to LaBarre and Roe who expressed concern about their parenting skills, the warrants said. One person told investigators she has witnessed LaBarre slam a bottle of milk against her other child's chest in frustration and throw the girl "in an aggressive manner across rooms," according to the warrants.

The warrants also said Roe conceded to police that he had removed the 3-month-old from his crib and that he may have been "rough enough" to have "inadvertently injured him."

Police could not determine who was caring for the child when he suffered serious trauma, the warrants indicate.

LaBarre and Roe each face charges of second-degree reckless endangerment and risk of injury to a minor.

LaBarre was arrested in December, while Roe was not charged until last month. They are each free from custody while their cases are pending in New Britain Superior Court.


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