BR police arrest mother over infant’s injuries

Baton Rouge police Tuesday arrested a 20-year-old woman after her infant daughter suffered permanent brain damage and broken arms and legs and she refused to immediately seek medical help.

Tymekia Crawford, 645 S. 14th St., Baton Rouge, was booked into Parish Prison with second-degree cruelty to a juvenile after police learned a door fell on her 11-month-old daughter Friday and Crawford refused to take her to the hospital until Saturday, an affidavit of probable cause says.

If the infant dies, the charge against Crawford would be upgraded to second-degree murder, police Cpl. Don Coppola Jr., said.

“It’s always difficult when young, innocent children are victims of crimes like this,” Coppola said.

Crawford refused to cooperate with detectives and said she did not know how her daughter suffered the injuries, the affidavit says.

Then detectives interviewed Crawford’s boyfriend, Byron Smith, and he told them a door fell on the girl, the affidavit says.

Smith said the child became ill and developed swelling in the head and face after the door fell on her, the affidavit says.

Smith is not the child’s father, the affidavit says.

The incident occurred at 1320 Oleander St., the affidavit says.

Smith said he told Crawford she needed to take the child to the hospital, but he said she refused, the affidavit says.

The next day, Smith said, the child’s condition worsened and he finally persuaded Crawford to take the child to a doctor, the affidavit says.

X-rays showed healed fractures and swelling in the brain, the affidavit says. The hospital’s medical staff said the child’s injuries were nonaccidental and Crawford’s negligence resulted in the severity of the injuries, the affidavit says.

Mary Sneed, who lives near Crawford, said there are three other children living in the house with Crawford, Smith and the victim.

Sneed said the three children, whom she guesses are all between the ages of 5 and 7, are often left alone with the infant for long stretches of time while the adults are gone.

“If something was happening to the baby, she wouldn’t know because she is never there,” Sneed said of Crawford.