11-4-2012: Man charged in shaken baby incidentA Red Wing man was formally charged Thursday with first-degree assault and three counts of malicious punishment of a child for allegedly shaking his 4-month-old daughter.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
A Red Wing man was formally charged Thursday with first-degree assault and three counts of malicious punishment of a child for allegedly shaking his 4-month-old daughter.
David Michael Rindahl Jr., 26, 1071 Fairview Blvd., is also facing a third-degree assault charge. Rindahl was booked into Goodhue County Jail Oct. 30. As of Friday, he was still being held in lieu of $250,000 bail.
According to a court complaint filed Thursday, Rindahl brought his daughter into the Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing emergency room just before 8 p.m. Sunday. He told staff there that the infant had been in her swing at home and when he took her out to feed her, she “arched her back and began shaking,” the complaint said.
Doctors noted that the infant did not have a fractured skull, but “showed a depressed level of consciousness and did not cry or open her eyes.” She was airlifted to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, where doctors found a large area of bleeding on and around the infant’s brain and brain tissue damage.
Doctors diagnosed her with “non-accidental trauma,” and added that her injuries were consistent with abuse cases “where a child has been shaken or struck against a hard surface,” the complaint said.
When interviewed by investigators, Rindahl admitted to shaking the infant from side to side on Oct. 28 because he was trying to “calm her down.” He said she began to seize about 20 to 25 seconds after he put her down.
“I didn’t want to hurt her,” Rindahl said in the complaint. “Maybe my hands were shaking a little bit. … It wasn’t intentional if it happened.”
The complaint says Rindahl told officers that he had been at home watching the infant and his 2-year-old child while his wife was at work, the complaint said. He stated that the infant began to get “fussy” in the evening and began “screaming wild.”
“I don’t understand why I went in there and did that,” Rindahl said of shaking the baby.
Rindahl also stated that the baby had previously been diagnosed with colic and that she would cry for up to five hours at a time, sometimes crying so hard that “she would break blood vessels in her eyes.”
As of Nov. 1, the infant was still hospitalized at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, the complaint says.
Rindahl’s first court appearance will be Nov. 16.