GAFFNEY, S.C. (WSPA) – A 3-month-old baby is in critical condition after allegedly being punched in the head multiple times by a man in a Gaffney home.
According to Gaffney Police, Justin Keith Crowe was watching the baby Thursday while his mother and grandmother went to the grocery store.
Police said Crowe called them because the baby would not stop crying.
When they returned to the home, the baby was unresponsive, police said.
They took the baby to the ER, where he was airlifted to the hospital. The baby’s condition is listed as critical, according to police.
Police officers spoke with the mother and grandmother at the hospital.
Crowe was then taken to the police station, where he confessed to hitting the baby several times in the head with a closed fist.
7 News spoke with the family of the 3-month-old baby boy, Brock, who is now fighting for his life.
Brock’s family told 7 News the little boy just started eating pears, loved wind chimes, and was constantly smiling.
He’s now in the hospital, in a neck brace and hooked to several machines, after the 20-year-old man was trusted to take care of him.
“Everything was fine when we left. He was smiling, he was cooing, he was just so happy,” Beverly Hueston, Brock’s mother, said.
Hueston and her step-mother, Donna Smith, went to the grocery store on Thursday to pick up diapers for Hueston’s son, Brock. While they were out, they trusted Hueston’s former boyfriend, Justin Crowe, to babysit.
They told 7 News they came home about half an hour later.
“He looked dead. It terrified me,” Smith said. “All black and blue and swollen. He wasn’t crying. He couldn’t open his eyes.”
She said the 3-month-old, who had just learned to roll over, was not moving at all.
Police said Hueston’s former boyfriend admitted to hitting the baby multiple times, leaving Brock in critical condition.
“Two brain bleeds, crushed larynx, and several broken ribs,” Chief Chris Skinner, with the Gaffney Police Department, said. “They advised that the next 72 hours are crucial in whether the baby lives or passes away.”
“Had I thought that this was even a possibility, absolutely not would I have left my son in his care,” Hueston said.
Crowe has since been arrested, but Brock’s mother and grandmother say it’s not enough.
“I want justice for my son. I want people to know that this is not okay, it’s not tolerated,” Hueston said. “We need as many prayers as we can get for my son. Please.”
“$5,000 from a bails bondman and this man, who has almost and could still possibly take my grandchild’s life, could be back out on the street,” Smith added. “I hope he burns in the hottest parts of hell.”
Crowe is now being held in the Cherokee County Detention Center, charged with abuse of a child resulting in great bodily injury, and he has a $50,000 surety bond.
If Brock survives, Crowe could face up to 20 years behind bars. If Brock passes away, Crowe’s charge would be upgraded to homicide.
Brock’s family wants to give a special “thank you” to the doctors and nurses at the Shriner’s Hospital in Greenville where they’re praying Brock makes a full recovery.