Police: Dad stuffs balled-up baby wipe down infant’s throat, leaving boy in critical condition

U.S. & World

A 5-month-old boy is in critical condition after his father allegedly balled up a baby wipe and stuffed it down his throat, police said.

Michael Hurley, 32, was arrested on a charge of attempted murder and booked into the Pinellas County Jail where he’s being held without bond.

According to an affidavit, Hurley and the child were alone at a home in Tarpon Springs early Tuesday evening when the mother came home from work and noticed the child was choking. 

She grabbed the child, ran outside and screamed for help. Neighbors came to her aid, one of which held the baby upside down while the mother took her two index fingers and pulled the wipe out of the child’s mouth, the affidavit states.

When officers arrived, Hurley told police he “knows this looks bad,” and characterized the matter as a “freak accident,” adding that he couldn’t remember exactly what had happened, the affidavit continues.

Officers said the baby wipe was “completely saturated in blood.” When the wipe was opened for further examination, officers noticed areas where blood was not present, leading detectives to believe it wasn’t swallowed by accident, but that someone had purposefully balled it up and inserted it into the child’s throat, police said.

According to police, Hurley and the boy’s mother claim the child has developmental delays, including that of motor skills, due to complications from childbirth

The child was rushed to Mease Countryside hospital and later transferred to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, where he is on life support, according to the report.

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