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Gouverneur man charged with assaulting infant

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GOUVERNEUR — A Gouverneur man stands accused of injuring his four-month-old daughter by shoving a baby bottle into her mouth so hard that it drew blood and causing bruising to her head and jaw.

State police on Sunday charged Christopher N. Gerthoffer, 29, of 24 South St., Apt. B, with felony second-degree assault causing injury to a person under 7 years old and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child.

Troopers said that at about 11:40 a.m. Sunday they responded to a report of possible child abuse by a physician assistant at Gouverneur Hospital.

According to troopers, the infant was taken to the hospital by her mother and grandmother with a small scrape on her head and moderate bruising on her right cheek and jaw. Troopers did not release the baby’s name.

In a statement to police, Mr. Gerthoffer said at about 8 a.m. that day he was awakened by his wife, Kerensa M., to take care of his crying daughter, whom he said was “extremely fussy” and “difficult to calm.”

“I held her up and yelled at her. It was at this time that I shook her,” he told troopers. “After this, she still kept crying and I shoved the bottle into her mouth fast and hard,” causing her to bleed inside of her mouth.

Mr. Gerthoffer added he didn’t know how the infant received the bruises and scratch on her face and head, but presumed that it might have been from when he “dropped her on the couch from approximately 12 to 18 inches and she may have struck her head on the metal brackets/supports under the cushions.”

“I am responsible for the injury to the baby,” Mr. Gerthoffer said to troopers. “I have gotten little sleep lately and I also have anger problems.”

Mr. Gerthoffer’s mother, Olga M. Denton, told troopers that she and Mrs. Gerthoffer took the infant to the hospital after seeing that she was bleeding from the mouth and, later, when she refused to take a bottle.

Mr. Gerthoffer was arraigned in Town Court and sent to St. Lawrence County jail, Canton, on $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 bond.

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