Father is arrested for child abuse

ESCANABA — Following investigation into a suspected child abuse incident, Escanaba Public Safety arrested the father of an Escanaba infant who was cared for at the local emergency room then transferred to a Wisconsin hospital for additional treatment on Friday.

According to a news release issued Sunday afternoon by Escanaba Public Safety, personnel from OSF HealthCare St. Francis Hospital notified police about the baby who was brought to the emergency room with signs of physical child abuse shortly before 1 p.m. Friday.

The 8-month-old boy was transferred from OSF to St. Vincent Children’s Hospital in Green Bay for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries and was listed in stable condition Sunday afternoon, said Delta County Prosecutor Philip Strom this morning.

The child’s 21-year-old mother and 22-year-old father were both questioned at the police station on Friday. Following interviews with each parent, the father was arrested on a child abuse charge and lodged in the county jail in lieu of a $500,000 cash bond. The mother was not charged.

Strom said the father is scheduled to be arraigned in Delta County District Court this morning.

“We’re going to be issuing a charge of first-degree child abuse,” stated Strom. First-degree child abuse carries a maximum punishment of life in prison.

Strom noted the prosecutor’s office is also seeking to terminate the parental rights of both parents by working in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Delta County Probate Court, which serves as the family division of circuit court.

In addition to local hospital staff, Escanaba Public Safety was assisted Friday by personnel from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Child Protective Services, and the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office.