A Queens man’s abuse to his 13-week-old daughter resulted in 17 broken ribs, a lacerated liver and a broken ankle. Juan Gomez was arrested Friday night and charged with assault and endangering a child. On Saturday night at his arraignment, a lawyer pleaded not guilty on his behalf, still the 23-year-old had already confessed his activities—which included biting, throwing and head-butting the baby.
Gomez told authorities the abuse began in January when he “grew frustrated because [his daughter Hailey] wouldn’t stop crying,” and bit her on the leg. While her mother was at work, he would also “head-butt the infant, with piercings on his head causing bruises” and “throw her about a foot into the air” catching her by “placing his hands over her rib cage,” reports the Times. According to the prosecutor’s office, Gomez said he would sometimes bend the baby’s legs “until the feet and ankles were bent back onto her chest.”
In the courtroom, assistant DA Hugo Basso pointed out that the injuries were “consistent with child abuse, not incidental,” adding that they could have been fatal. The defendant could be imprisoned for 15 years if convicted, but according to ABC, neighbors were surprised since Gomez and his wife seemed like happy parents. “That's their first baby. I don't expect they would do anything like that to the baby. They were so happy to have the baby," said Abdul Aldalai, a deli owner who saw Gomez and his family daily.