Baby critical after suffering brain injury; man charged with child abuse

Updated: 05/19/2014 11:55 AM | Created: 05/19/2014 11:53 AM
By: Elizabeth Reed,

Albuquerque police say a 4-month-old girl is in critical condition at UNM Hospital after a domestic dispute at her northwest Albuquerque home on Saturday.

Police arrested and charged 30-year-old Michael Hyer with child abuse resulting in great bodily injury after the incident.

According to the criminal complaint, Hyer was watching his girlfriend's children, the 4-month-old and her 2-year-old brother. Officers responded to the home on 72nd Street around 9 p.m. on a report of a domestic dispute involving an unresponsive child.

When police arrived to the scene, they found the baby lying on the living room floor. Paramedics took the girl to Presbyterian Hospital, where doctors discovered she had sustained a brain hemorrhage and observed bruising near her right ear. She was then taken to UNM Hospital, where she underwent emergency brain surgery.

Police spoke with the child's mother, Ashley Lagrange, who told officers the children had been in Hyer's care during the afternoon and evening. When she arrived home, Lagrange said Hyer told her the child sustained an injury on her face. When she picked up the girl, Lagrange said the baby's head fell backward and she seemed lethargic. Lagrange then called 911.

Investigators said Hyer changed his story multiple times, saying at first that the child had scratched herself, but then later told them that his fingers "slipped" and struck the baby while he was bathing her.

When asked about the child's critical head injury, Hyer told police that her 2-year-old brother was "abusive."

Hyer is being held on a $100,000 cash or surety bond at the Metropolitan Detention Center.

Michael Hyer, 30.

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