A Warren County man who told investigators he stepped on the head of a 1-year-old girl he was giving a bath has been indicted on a misdemeanor child endangering charge.
Tyler Ward, 22, will now face only the misdemeanor charge, reported in a list of new cases released Monday by the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office.
The infant apparently suffered head injuries in the incident on Feb. 14 at a duplex in Morrow, according to court records.
The baby quickly recovered, weakening prosecutors’ ability to prove “serious physical harm,” a necessary element of the felonious assault charge, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said Monday.
“I would much rather have a child with injuries that are temporary and not life-threatening - resulting in a misdemeanor charge against a defendant - than I would to have a child with life-threatening or lifelong injuries - resulting in a more significant felony charge against a defendant,” Fornshell added.
Ward was initially charged with felonious assault, as well as child endangering.
Now he will only face the misdemeanor charge in Warren County Court, rather than be arraigned and prosecuted on a felony in the common pleas court.
He remained in the county jail Monday on $250,000 bond.
Morrow police and the Salem Twp. Fire Department were dispatched at 3:22 p.m. on Feb 14 to a duplex on Second Street in Morrow about an infant that had stopped, but resumed, breathing.
Ward told a 911 operator the 1-year-old was in the tub for 30 seconds. He led emergency workers into the duplex where they found the mother holding the infant, throwing up a clear liquid, on the bed.
A hospital examination showed the child had head injuries indicating she had been assaulted. On Monday, Fornshell said he understood the grand jury’s decision to opt for the misdemeanor charge.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow Lawrence Budd on Twitter.