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Schuylkill man jailed for assaulting two-month-old

Published February 16. 2012 05:01PM

A Schuylkill County man was jailed on Wednesday charged with assaulting a two-month old boy.

State police at Frackville have charged Peter Andrew Howard, 37, of Girardville, with aggravated assault,endangering the welfare of a child, simple assault and reckless endangering.

According to troopers on Sept. 15, 2011, between 4 and 6 p.m. Howard was along at 112 W. Main st., Apt. 1, in Girardville, with the victim and another sibling, a 14-month-old female. No other adults were present at the time.

Howard contacted the mother of the children, identified as Jeannine Long, about 6 p.m. and reported that he sat on the victim while disciplining the other child. Long returned to the apartment and found the victim in distress.

She took the child to the Schuylkill Medical Center-S. Jackson St., Pottsville, to be evaluated. The child was then transferred to the Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, by ambulance that day after his condition was determined to be serious in nature. He was admitted to the Pediatric Care Unit.

Trooper John D. Powis, who made the arrest, stated that the victim sustained facial bruising in the area of the left eye, a fractured left femur bore, and a torn frenulum, it was determined after being admitted to Geisinger.

Powis also reported that on Sept. 16, 2011, the child suffered cardiac arrest as a result of brain trauma received at the time of the incident but was revived by hospital personnel.

Geisinger's medical staff notified the Schuylkill County Office of Children & Youth and the state police. The two children were then taken into protective custody by children and youth personnel.

Howard was charged, Powis said, when "it was learned the injuries the victim suffered were not consistent with the medical findings." This information, the trooper said, was obtained from the director of pediatric hospital medicine at Geisinger and "deemed to be the result of abusive and intentional actions toward the child", Powis noted.

Powis also said the New South Wales Police Department in Australia, confirmed that Howard was charged with manslaughter on Jan. 30, 1997, in the death of an eight-month-old boy.

Authorities in Australia told Powis that Howard was alone with the boy while the mother went shopping with a friend. The boy died of violent shaking, Australian officials said.

Howard was arraigned before District Judge Christina Hale, of Frackville, and remanded to the county prison in Pottsville after failing to post $250,00 straight cash bail.

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