ERIE, Pa. – A northwestern Pennsylvania woman accused of using her baby to batter her child's father said she didn't realize what she was doing until it was too late.
Chyrotia Graham, 27, of Erie, told police she had been drinking when an argument with the child's father turned violent early Sunday morning, according to an affidavit filed to support Graham's arrest.
Graham said she "snapped" and began grabbing things and throwing them at Deangelo Troop, 20, not realizing she had picked up her 4-week-old son, Jarron Troop, telling police she held the child by his legs and swung him at his father. Police had said they believed the woman held the baby by the midsection when she hit the man.
Graham was being held in the Erie County Jail on Monday on $75,000 bond. She faces charges of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and simple assault.
Jarron, who was born Sept. 11, suffered a fractured skull and bleeding in the brain after the incident. The infant's head hit Deangelo, who had also fathered one of Graham's other four children.
Deangelo told the Erie Times-News that Graham never meant to hurt their child.
"People are trying to make a big deal about it, but she did not do it on purpose. ... It was just a mistake," he said.
Defense attorney Alison Scarpitti, who was assigned by the Erie County Public Defender's Office to represent Graham, said Monday she could not comment because she had not met with Graham.
Police said Troop punched Graham in the eye after she put the baby down, and police photos later showed her eye blackened and swollen shut.
Authorities said there was no indication that Troop had hit his son but that they were reviewing the case to see if any charges might be warranted.
"I don't anticipate any at this time," Erie police Capt. Frank Kwitowski said Monday.
Officials at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh declined to release information about the baby early Tuesday. He was flown to the hospital by helicopter after the incident.
Authorities removed Graham's other children from the home. The Erie County Office of Children and Youth granted temporary custody to their maternal grandparents, Gloria Graham and Cornell Petty of Erie.