Hammond man charged after infant daughter had fractured leg

A Hammond man faces charges after his infant daughter was diagnosed with a fractured leg and brain bleed.

Jerome K. Baker, 32, was charged Thursday with neglect of a dependent resulting in catastrophic injury, a Level 1 felony; domestic battery resulting in serious bodily injury to a person less than 14 years old, a Level 3 felony; and aggravated battery, a Level 3 felony.

His bail was set Friday to $100,000, or $10,000 cash surety.

His next court date is May 23.

Hammond Police responded at 11:34 a.m. May 9 to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois.

The eight-week-old girl had brain hemorrhages and a “severe” right femur fracture. Police believed it happened at Baker’s home.

The mother told police they lived at different houses, but she and her kids spent part of the week at Baker’s. She left the baby with him and noticed during a diaper change on May 8 that her leg was very swollen.

At first, the woman thought it might have been a spider bite. Then, she took her to the hospital. He asked if she could wait till next week’s doctor’s appointment. She asked if he did something.

Baker, a bartender, was “very timid,” “hating himself,” and dreaded telling her what happened. He was ashamed for not having more patience, she said.

He told her multiple stories — that she fell off a sofa while sleeping, fell off and got her leg caught, or he swaddled her too hard.

She said he went to jail in the past for beating their other daughter in Calumet City. The woman said he gets “overwhelmed” at times, and acts like two different people.

“Shut your mouth, shut your mouth,” he said one time when the baby was crying.

Baker told cops he knew he was “going to jail” because he didn’t take her to a doctor. The mother said later that Baker had checked himself into a hospital, distraught at what happened.