A North Carolina man has been charged with child abuse after he allegedly caused serious injuries to his 2-month-old daughter.
Wake Forest resident Daniel Edward Vena, 30, was charged with felony intentional child abuse inflicting serious injuries, WRAL reports. According to the arrest warrant for the man, the baby girl was bleeding inside her skull and eyes, and had bruising on her back.
The 8-week-old infant suffered a subdural hematoma, according to WGHP.
The father was held in a local jail on a $75,000 bond.
The man's family has challenged the charge of abuse, saying that he was in fact trying to help his daughter, WTVD reports.
"My son was feeding his baby," the baby's grandfather, Daniel Vena Sr., said. "The baby started to choke on the formula. To revive his daughter, to clear the lungs, to clear the fluid, he tapped."
Vena Sr. said that his son had tapped on the baby's chest to help her when she choked. He also added that the girl had suffered an injury when she was born.
"The baby had a very tough birth," Vena Sr. said. "No question about that. The doctors had to do some things to her that caused injury."
"My boy was trying to revive his daughter," said the grandfather. "I consider my boy a hero. A hero. And they consider him a felon."
The baby's mother, Jessica Renik, also defended Vena Jr.'s actions.
"He tried to save his child's life," said Renik.
In September, a U.K. father was falsely accused of child abuse after he took his baby daughter to the hospital for a rash, which doctors thought was a burn, according to the Daily Mail.
Kevin Gardiner, 31, took his 1-year-old daughter, Amara, to the hospital after he discovered a red mark on her thigh. Doctors suspected that the mark was a burn, and called police and social services, who interrogated Gardiner.
Gardiner was separated from Amara, along with partner Jasmine Yates and their newborn daughter, Genevieve, for more than a week over the accusations of abuse.
"It was heartbreaking," said Gardiner. "I obviously felt like my life had been taken away from me when I hadn't done anything and I was being punished."
"All we were trying to do was the right thing and then I ended up being accused of hurting," added the dad. "I couldn't focus or think straight. I didn't know if my family were being taken away and I might never see them again."
"As soon as we turned up at the hospital, we could feel them suspecting us of doing something to Amara," recalled Yates. "They started asking us if she had been in any accidents or if anything had rubbed against her leg and before we knew it the police and social services showed up."
Yates was told to take their two daughters to her mother's home, and police told Gardiner they would arrest him if he made contact with his family.
"It was so distressing for Amara because she didn't know why she couldn't see her daddy," Yates said. "They're so close and it really affected her."
A week later, the hospital called and confirmed that the mark had been a fungal skin infection. Gardiner was then reunited with his family, but said that he hasn't received an apology from social services or the hospital.
"All I wanted wa to protect my little girls," Gardiner said. "Social services are the ones causing the harm, not me."