Press-Republican

Local News

December 31, 2013

Police: Malone man assaulted infant daughter

MALONE — Police say James J. Whitney Jr. assaulted his 2-month-old daughter, fracturing her skull and causing cranial bleeding.

After receiving surgery, she was in serious condition on Monday night in the Intensive Care Unit at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Malone Village Police Chief Chris Premo said.

The investigation remained in initial stages, and few details were available.

"All I can really say is we believe the father caused the injuries," Premo said.

Whitney, 28, was charged with reckless assault of a child, a felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

He and his girlfriend have another child, a 3-year-old, who Premo confirmed was in good health.

'FRESH INJURY'

The alleged assault had happened not long before EMTs arrived, the police chief said.

"It was a fresh injury."

The 911 call for an ambulance came in at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Premo said, and Malone Callfiremen were dispatched to 35 Gentle Breeze Drive, taking the baby to Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone before she was transferred to Fletcher Allen.

Whitney went to Alice Hyde Medical Center with his girlfriend, Premo said.

Police were alerted to the situation when a hospital employee called officers after the infant was examined, the chief said.

Whitney was arrested the Gentle Breeze Drive address a few hours later, he said.

'MORE ARRESTS POSSIBLE'

State Police are assisting Malone Village Police with the case, Premo said.

More arrests in connection with the alleged crime are possible, he said, and Franklin County Child Protective Services is also conducting an investigation.

Held at the Village Police station since about 3:30 a.m. Monday, Whitney was arraigned in the afternoon in Malone Town Court before Town Justice Mike Lamitie and was sent to the Franklin County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond.

He remained in Franklin County Jail Monday night, according to the Franklin County Sheriff's Department.

Whitney is due back in court Jan. 14.

Premo said he was unsure who would care for the child after her discharge from the hospital.

Email Felicia Krieg: fkrieg@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: @FeliciaKrieg

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