A Florida father is accused of intentionally stuffing a baby wipe down his 5-month-old son's throat and almost killing him, according to WFLA-TV in Tampa.
Michael Hurley, 32, his son were at their home in Tarpon Springs alone when the infant's mother came home from work. She immediately noticed her son was choking and screamed for someone to help her.
"Help me! Help me! I can't get it out," she yelled, according to neighbor Cali’yah Anderson, who spoke with the Tampa Bay Times.
Anderson ran over and saw the mother cradling the baby, trying desperately to pull something out of the infant's mouth.
Hurley just stood behind the counter and didn't move, Anderson told the Times.
"He kept saying ‘I don’t know what happened,’" Anderson said.
Eventually, working together, Anderson and the mother got the wadded-up baby wipe out of the baby's throat. It was covered in blood.
Someone called 911 about 30 minutes later. Anderson said she begged Hurley to call 911 while they were trying to help the infant. When emergency workers showed up, she said, he just stood back and watched.
"(Hurley) wasn’t doing anything so somebody had to be there for her and help her out," Anderson said. "It’s by divine intervention we were all there."
The baby was transported to a hospital and eventually put on a ventilator. Anderson said the baby was in stable condition on Thursday.
When police arrived, Hurley told them he "knows this looks bad," and that it was a "freak accident." When they asked him what happened, police said, Hurley told them he couldn't remember.
Because the wipe was "securely balled up" and "completely saturated in blood," police said in arrest report, they were suspicious. When they examined the wipe, there was no blood in the deep folds of it. That led them to believe the act was intentional.
Hurley and the mother said the boy has developmental issues, including poor motor skills, because of a complicated birth, police said.
Anderson told the Tampa Bay Times that Hurley and the mother fought often and very loudly. The mother had recently asked Hurley to move out, Anderson said.
Hurley was charged with attempted first-degree murder and he's being held in jail on a $500,000 bond.
[Photo: Pinellas County Jail]