Sharon mother accused of causing baby's brain injury

Apr. 25—SHARON — A Sharon woman is accused of shaking her baby, injuring the child's brain.

Brittany Arnold, 25, of 539 Bell St., was charged Wednesday with aggravated assault of a victim younger than 13 years old and endangering the welfare of children. No preliminary hearing is scheduled.

According to a criminal complaint completed by Sharon police Detective Sgt. Justin Wiley, the 10-week-old infant was taken to an emergency room April 6.

Arnold told police, in an interview at the hospital, that she fed and and put the baby to sleep about 2 p.m.

Arnold said she checked on the baby about 15 minutes later and saw the baby was discolored and pale with unusual breathing. She then called 911 and began performing CPR as requested by dispatch, police said.

Police said Arnold told them that the baby has no known medical conditions.

The baby was transferred to UPMC Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh, and it was determined that he had a brain injury and signs of physical abuse.

On April 10, the detective received an update on the baby's condition from Children and Youth Services. The case worker said the baby had little to no brain activity and experienced multiple seizures.

In a second interview, Arnold told detectives and state police that the baby was at a babysitter's overnight into April 5 and appeared normal. She said the child showed no signs of distress until after he went to sleep on April 6.

Police determined that Arnold was the only adult around the baby for about 27 hours until his cardiac arrest, police said. The babysitter said that the child had normal behavior the entire time he was with her the night before.

Police received a medical report from the UPMC physician in charge of the baby's care. His report read, in part, "This child has been the victim of violent physical abuse ... it is highly concerning that there was a violent event of shaking shortly before this child went into cardiac arrest."

On Tuesday, the doctor told police that the baby is doing better in regard to breathing on his own, but it is hard to say the type of quality of life the baby will have in the future due to the damage caused in the incident.

NOTE: All defendants are to be presumed innocent until proven or adjudicated guilty in court.

Follow Melissa Klaric on twitter @HeraldKlaric or email her at

Follow Melissa Klaric on twitter @HeraldKlaric or email her at