A father in Ohio was arrested after his 5-month-old son was brought to the hospital with serious injuries.
Thomas Howell was rushed to the hospital after his mother, Brenda Commeaux, received a phone call from the baby's father, James Howell.
“I got a call from James around 1 (p.m.) saying how he was getting frustrated,” she says. “I asked him, I said, ‘have you done anything?’ and I started going through the list on what we’re supposed to do with Thomas,” Commeaux said. Three hours later, Howell called back.
“Screaming, crying, shouting, I could tell in his voice he was shaking and he was like ‘I fell with Thomas, I fell with Thomas.’”
In the seconds that followed the frantic phone call, Commeaux said a misunderstanding led her to believe Howell threw their son.
“I got everything in my head twisted and I was like ‘He threw Thomas,’” she said of the moment she called her mother to inform her of the incident. “That’s the only thing I could blurt out because I was crying and upset.”
According to court records, the hospital’s report showed that Howell tripped with Thomas in his arms, though child abuse expert Dr. Jennifer Tscholl told police the injuries the baby sustained were not consistent with the kind of fall described by his father.
Howell was ultimately arrested for felony child endangering, and is due in court this week.