A Woonsocket, Rhode Island, man claimed he repeatedly slapped his roommate’s 5-month-old because he wouldn’t stop crying, authorities alleged.
Officers responded to a call Sunday afternoon involving an unconscious and unresponsive baby. Kristopher Bernier, 25, who was babysitting at the time, originally told authorities the infant fell off the couch, according to WPRI.
Detectives were called to the scene due to the “suspicious nature” of the victim’s injuries. The 25-year-old allegedly later admitted that the 5-month-old’s bruising and hematoma were caused by him slapping the infant multiple times.
25 y/o Kristopher Bernier charged w/ child abuse, accused of beating boy he was babysitting. At 6pm hear from father pic.twitter.com/dqlqjOXBek
— Jared Pelletier (@NBC10_Jared) March 27, 2017
“Yes, the baby was crying. He couldn’t take it anymore and his words were, ‘I lost it’ and he started slapping the baby,” Det. Sgt. Matthew Ryan said.
WVCB reported that the baby’s condition is unknown at this time. However, the Providence Journal reported that state Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) claimed he is in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
Det. Sgt. Ryan also pointed out that this isn’t the first time the 25-year-old was accused of harming a child. Bernier was charged with second-degree child abuse in 2012. The charge, which was subsequently dismissed, will have no bearing on this case, the officer said.
The Woonsocket man reportedly had “fallen on hard times” and moved in with the child’s parents in December, according to Det. Sgt. Ryan. He also said Bernier and the baby’s dad have known each other for years.
Bernier was arrested and charged with first-degree abuse. His bail was set at $25,000 and he is ordered to have no contact with the baby.
[Feature Photo: Woonsocket Police Department]