A 37-year-old Paterson man punched his girlfriend's 1-year-old baby in the stomach, then bribed his other two children with a toy and money to lie about it after the severely injured infant was hospitalized, authorities said.
Jeanandre Desir gave his 5-year-old daughter a Barbie doll and his 8-year-old son $10 to cover for him, according to documents on file in Superior Court in Paterson.
He also frightened them by saying he'd go to prison if anyone found out what he'd really done, the documents show.
Doctors at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center contacted detectives with the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Special Victims Unit this past Christmas Day with concerns about the infant, who was brought in with a severe intestinal injuries, Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes said.
Investigators interviewed several witnesses, including Desir's two young children.
“One child state that she hit the one-year-old in the stomach with a hammer, which was confirmed by a second child,” Valdes said Wednesday. “Both children stated that the incident occurred at their home in Paterson.”
Detectives soon learned that Desir actually hit his girlfriend's baby in the stomach with a closed fist, then got the young witnesses “to fabricate their initial report," Valdes said.
Authorities obtained a warrant after they had trouble finding Desir, she said.
This week, members of the United States Marshals Service's New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force captured Desir in the Bronx, Valdes said.
He remained held there pending extradition to Passaic County to face charges of aggravated assault, child endangerment and witness tampering, the prosecutor said.
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