Buffalo resident Alex Mercado has been arrested and charged after shaking his three month old baby so viciously that the child went blind.
Buffalo, New York police say Mercado’s shaking caused bleeding around his son’s brain, bruising on his ribs, substantial pain, and blindness. Mercado is now being charged with reckless assault on a child and second degree assault. The child’s mother is also listed on the police report, but she has not been charged with any offenses.
Mercado and the child’s mother have other children together as well. Neighbors told Buffalo area news station that they were shocked to hear the news.
"He's actually a cool person, he really is. This is something that was unexpected," resident Johnny Gamble said. "I don't know if it's the age or the experience because he does have other kids. So I don't know what his mind frame was, how he was thinking, but that is just inexcusable.”
The child is now being treated at the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. Coincidentally, the hospital was the first in the nation to implement a shaken baby awareness program 15 years ago.
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the vast majority of children with Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) are under one year old. SBS often occurs when a parent of caretaker shakes a baby out of anger and frustration. Usually, the abuse occurs when a child will not stop crying. Babies who survive the abuse often develop cerebral palsy, paralysis, blindness, mental retardation, and seizures.