BRIDGEPORT -- A 19-year-old city man was arrested Tuesday morning after police said he assaulted his two-month old son earlier this year, leaving several bruises, brain and spinal damage.
Detectives began their investigation in January when they were called to Bridgeport Hospital where the 8-week old baby had been taken for treatment for head trauma. The baby's mother and grandmother took him to a walk-in clinic in Trumbull and he was then rushed by ambulance to the hospital. The baby had been in the care of his father for the weekend when he was hurt, police said in an affidavit.
The father, Luis Carattini, originally told police his foster sister had dropped the baby, but later changed his story and said he banged his son's head against a dresser while feeding him, according to the affidavit A doctor at Yale-New Haven Hospital -- where the child was taken for further treatment -- said in the affidavit that Carattini's accounts would not explain his son's injuries.
The baby -- whose name is being withheld by police along with the names of family members because they are victims -- had bruises on his ears, face and neck, suffered from seizures, had a brain and spine hemorrhage and brain damage, the affidavit said. Based on the injuries, doctors said the baby may have been strangled.
The doctor said "the victim would be at imminent risk of suffering another serious injury or even of dying if the victim returns to the suspect's care," according to the arrest warrant application.
Carattini, of Kossuth Street, was arrested without incident just before 7 a.m. by members of the U.S. Marshal Violent Crime Fugitive Task Force at a Mix Avenue apartment where they had learned he was staying, police said. A woman answered the door when officers knocked and Carattini was found in a bed. He was charged with first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, risk of injury to a minor and second-degree threatening.
The baby's mother had taken the child to Trumbull Pediatric Center on Jan. 23. After seeing bruising to the infant's arm and cheek and dried blood in both his ears, a doctor there called for transport to take the baby to the hospital. The mother told police the injuries occurred two days before, on Saturday, when the baby was with Carattini. She and her mother had picked up the infant Monday and noticed the injuries when she put him into his car seat. When she confronted Carattini about the injuries, he told her that his foster sister had dropped the baby while watching him for a few hours. Police later talked to the foster sister who denied dropping the baby and said she didn't see any injuries on the victim.
The victim's aunt and grandmother told police they were surprised his mother had allowed Carattini to watch him, but the mother told police she had seen him with the baby before and believed he could care for him, according to the affidavit. The aunt said Carattini has children with other mothers who don't allow him to see their kids.
On Jan. 27, the boy's aunt told police Carattini had called her, after being interviewed by a worker at the state Department of Children and Families, and was upset about the fact her family was accusing him of abuse. Carattini told the aunt, "You don't know who I am, I'm (expletive) crazy, I'll kill you," according to the arrest affidavit.
Carattini was scheduled to meet with police on Feb. 10, but didn't show up for the interview. An arrest warrant was later issued.