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Woman accused of abusing 3-month-old son, Las Vegas police say

A woman was arrested last month and charged with child abuse that led to brain bleeding in her 3-month-old son, according to Las Vegas police.

Susana Hernandez, 31, took her son to North Vista Hospital on July 18 because her baby, who cried often, hadn’t been crying and was making strange facial expressions and stiffening his limbs, according to an arrest report from the Metropolitan Police Department. Hernandez told police her son was born premature, at 29 weeks, and she had read online that these symptoms could be caused by his premature birth.

The hospital discovered a brain bleed in the child, with both old and new blood in his cranium, as well as a fractured wrist and fractured ribs. North Vista discharged the child and had Hernandez take him to University Medical Center for treatment, police said.

The medical center was familiar with the child, as he spent the first two and a half months of his life at the hospital after his premature birth. Hospital staff determined his injuries could not have been accidental, then reported the case to Metro.

Police asked Hernandez what caused her child’s injuries. At first, she told investigators that the injuries must have been caused by one of her six other children. One of her older sons, she told police, had an aggressive temper.

She told police that on the day before the hospital visit, she put the baby to sleep in his bassinet and set it on the washer and dryer so he wouldn’t be bothered by the other children.

According to the report, Hernandez said she fell asleep but was woken up a few hours later by one of her children, saying the baby had vomited. When she got to the baby he was on the kitchen counter instead of the washer and dryer, but Hernandez told police she didn’t think anything of it. Soon after, she told them, she noticed changes in his behavior.

But when police spoke to Hernandez’s children, their stories didn’t match up with hers. The kids told investigators they had fallen asleep watching movies and were woken up by the baby crying. They gave the baby his pacifier then went back to sleep, the report said.

Police had Hernandez and the children take polygraph tests on July 23; police determined Hernandez was lying. After the results came back, she admitted to police that she had been frustrated with the baby since she brought him home from the hospital on June 20.

She told them that he was a fussy baby who was always crying, and she couldn’t get him to stop. Starting a few days after she brought the baby home and continuing until the latest hospital visit, she said would attempt to quiet him by grabbing the end of his swaddled blanket, by his feet, lifting him out of the bassinet and slamming him “onto the bed with force,” the report said.

Hernandez told police she didn’t want to hurt her child, but the only regret she had was that it didn’t stop his crying.

Police arrested Hernandez July 23 on a charge of child abuse with substantial bodily harm. She was released the next day on $10,000 bond. Her next court date is set for Aug. 22.

Contact Alexis Egeland at aegeland@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0335. Follow @alexis_egeland on Twitter.

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