MANCHESTER — A city man left alone with a two-month=old girl was charged with second-degree assault after he told police he slapped the child on the head after she woke him by crying and wouldn't stop Christmas Day.
Brian Reeves, 33, of 284 Spruce St., was arraigned on the felony charge Wednesday in 9th Circuit Court, Manchester District Division, where bail was set at $15,000 cash/surety, with a probable cause hearing set for Jan. 9.
Police said the baby's mother said Reeves called her at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, while she was out with a friend, asking when she was coming home. She told him she was on her way, but he called her back a few minutes later and said the baby had fallen and hit her head.
The mother told police she said to Reeves: "How does a two-month-old fall and hit her head?" and then hung up and dialed 911, requesting EMS respond to the Spruce Street address.
The woman identified Reeves as her boyfriend but not the baby's father.
Police prosecutor Lt. Ron Mello said Reeves, who was convicted of drug possession in 2011 in a military court, told officers responding to the Spruce Street apartment that he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
A court document shows Reeves told responding officers that he was sleeping when the infant awakened him by crying and when she wouldn't stop, he got out of bed and walked over to her crib.
According to the court document, Reeves told officers he slapped the baby on the right side of her face and head once. Officer Casey Finn wrote that when he first saw the baby in the ambulance outside the Spruce Street apartment building, he could clearly see a large red mark on the right side of her face and head, running from her right ear to her right eye, which was beginning to swell.
When he later went to the Elliot Hospital, he wrote, he saw a large bruise on the right side of the baby's face and her right eye was clearly swollen and partially closed by the swelling.
Police said the baby's injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.
Reeves was also charged with misdemeanor contempt of court, for allegedly committing a crime while out on bail on a theft by unauthorized taking charge that was scheduled for a negotiated plea Jan. 9.
Mello said the plea offer was withdrawn as a result of the new charge, so Reeves is now scheduled for trial on the contempt charge and the underlying theft charge Feb. 20.