TPD: Rash reaction with infant can have devastating consequences

A Tuscaloosa father is facing capital murder charges after his infant son died as a result of serious injuries at Children’s Hospital Thursday.

Tuscaloosa Police were called to The Oakley apartment complex on James I. Harrison Parkway Tuesday on an unresponsive infant.

“(Police) met Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue there performing CPR,” said TPD Capt. Kip Hart. “At that time, the baby was transported to DCH (Regional Medical Center), where it was stabilized to an extent.”

Medical personnel later determined the child had internal injuries consistent with physical abuse.

“The child was transferred to Children’s in Birmingham,” Hart said. “Once there, it was determined there was a significant injury to the child. He became unresponsive and was put on life support measures. Unfortunately, they did not succeed in completely reviving the child and (the child) passed away Thursday morning.”

Zoe Floyd Michael Jr., the child’s father, was the only adult who was home when the baby became unresponsive.

Babies are fragile, Hart said, and all it takes is one wrong reaction to cause irreparable damage.

“It can be something as simple as picking up the baby and shaking it to try to get it to stop because of frustration or anger,” Hart said. “And sometimes it’s just pure meanness. ”

Hart said cases like this are always disturbing for investigators.

“It is extremely troubling as a person in general, but when you have to dive into it to try to find justice and make it right for those little victims, it takes a toll on investigators,” he said.

Hart has worked infant death cases throughout his career and said there are always ways to diffuse situations that could lead to these tragedies.

“There are several avenues and resources available for adults or parents if they feel they are not coping well with it,” Hart said. “Sometimes it is just a flash of panic, That one shot. It is always easier to pick up the phone and call someone and step away. If you feel that,  put the child down in a safe place and step to the other side of the room or something and make a phone call to a family member or friend. You don’t have to tell them what’s going on, but you can ask for help.”

Michael remains in the Tuscaloosa County Jail on no bond.

Categories: Crime, Local News