FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Bruising to the baby’s privates came from the father’s fingernails. So too, the eye injury the doctors reported.

The bruise on the three-week-old boy’s cheek came from pinching the infant “to make him laugh.”

These injuries didn’t begin to explain the three rib fractures, signs of a skull fracture, retinal hemorrhaging and bruises doctors found, according to a probable cause affidavit written by Detective Scott Tegtmeyer.

Isiah T. Preston

Despite feigning ignorance how any of the injuries occurred, except the scratched eye, Allen County prosecutors Friday charged Isiah T. Preson, 26, of the 3300 block of Heritage Drive, with domestic battery with serious bodily injury to a person under 14 and neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury.

The baby’s mother took him to a local hospital on Aug. 14, 2021, court documents said. The baby refused to latch on for breastfeeding and was lethargic. He wasn’t opening his eye much and when he did open them, he wasn’t tracking his mother’s movements, court documents said.

When she told Preston she wanted to take him to the emergency room, he asked to wait until the next day. That day, Preston had been watching the baby while the baby’s mother did the laundry. At 4 p.m. on Aug. 14, the baby fed fine, but by 7 p.m., during the time she was gone, the baby’s reactions and health deteriorated.

The mother took the baby to an ER clinic where the baby was given IV fluids and the mother continued to try to feed him. Two hours later, the baby was transferred to a main pediatric unit. During transport, the baby stopped breathing and had to be intubated, court documents said.

On Sept. 9 around 5:19 a.m., just as the child was being airlifted to Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital ICU in Indianapolis, Tegtmeyer was paged to the local hospital where he was told the baby was suffering from a brain bleed and brain swelling. Medical personnel also reported bruising on the infant’s face.

That same day, Tegtmeyer took Preston and the baby’s mother to the Fort Wayne detective bureau at the Rousseau Centre.

The day the baby was taken to the ER, Preston said he got off work early and went to see his son at the mother’s apartment. He claimed he fed his son, but the baby didn’t eat his normal amount. Then the baby’s mother went to do the laundry. During that time, Preston gave the infant a bath, court documents said.

Once he placed the baby on the bed, he said he noticed the baby wasn’t breathing right. He then called his mother, who is a nurse, who told him if things got worse to call 9-1-1. Preston then called the baby’s mother to come home  because the baby wasn’t breathing or acting right. That’s when the mother tried to feed the baby, but he wouldn’t eat.

She insisted she wanted to take the baby to the emergency room but Preston said he didn’t want to since he had to work, “but in retrospect he was glad they did,” court documents said.

Preston couldn’t recall any falls or any recent injuries to the child, but said when he was burping the baby over his leg with the baby’s head toward his foot, Preston reached down to pull up his pant leg and accidentally scratched the baby’s eye with his “long fingernails.”

Tegtmeyer interviewed the doctor at Peyton Manning who repoted that the baby had two subdermal hematomas (bruises) and one looked older than the other. The baby also had three rib fractures and signs of a skull fracture, but she couldn’t see it in the brain surgery she performed. She also said the baby had “raccoon eye,” court documents said.

When Tegtmeyer told her the cheek pinching story, the doctor said it would have to have been “one hell of a pinch.” The doctor said she believed the injuries were due to abuse, court documents said.

On Sept. 13, Tegtmeyer called the Indianapolis ICU. Spekaing with the doctor, he learned that the baby was in critical condition with several broken ribs, but the doctor was “more concerned with the retina scan and the MRI. The MRI showed that there was no portion of the baby’s brain that wasn’t affected by this injury,” the doctor reported. The scan showed “too many retina hemorrhages to count,” court documents said.

Tegtmeyer scheduled another interview with the baby’s mother who said that during the first two weeks of his life, she was bedridden and on a pain medication. While recovering, she barely left the bed and couldn’t breast feed the child, but pumped milk.

Preston did all the feeding during those two weeks and “would not let the baby’s mother even change one diaper.” During the third week of the baby’s life, she began to care for him and noticed minor injuries, she said. When she questioned Preston, he had excuses for the injuries she detected, court documents said.

Preston was being held at the Allen County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bond and has a court hearing scheduled for July 18.