A Fairfield man pleaded not guilty to serious felony charges on Monday in Solano County Superior Court in connection with an allegation that he bit the nose off of his infant son last week in a rage over the baby's crying.
Joshua Lemar Cooper, 18, made his first court appearance since his Thursday arrest in Fairfield. Cooper pleaded not guilty to one count of aggravated mayhem and two counts of child abuse, all of which are felonies.
Fairfield police responded to an apartment on Alaska Avenue Thursday morning after a hysterical female called police dispatch to report her infant child was bleeding from its nose. Police said that Cooper, the one-month-old infant's 17-year-old mother and numerous other family members were present at the apartment.
The infant, Ta'jon, was taken to a local hospital where doctors determined that the infant's nose had been severed and it had also suffered possible head trauma, according to police. The child was then transported to Children's Hospital in Oakland, where doctors there indicated that there was evidence of a skull fracture and brain hemorrhage, police said.
During their investigation, police determined that Cooper had bitten the infant's nose off out of frustration due to its crying, however, the investigation continues into how it suffered the skull fracture and brain hemorrhage. Police said that the child was in stable condition at the hospital.
On Monday, numerous family members and supporters attended the hearing inside the Fairfield courtroom of Commissioner William J. Pendergast. The group quickly left at the conclusion of the hearing without speaking to reporters.
In an interview with KGO-TV in San Francisco (http://bit.ly/1iWG2T1), the baby's mother said, "It hurts. It hurts my feelings a lot, like my heart is broken."
Oakland Children's Hospital confirmed Monday that baby Ta'jon is still at the hospital, but would not elaborate on the child's condition at the request of his mother. Bay Area media reports said that the one-month-old's nose was reattached and that he's still recovering.
Cooper was ordered held in Solano County Jail with bail set at $750,000. A probable cause hearing was set for 10 a.m. on April 1 in the Fairfield courtroom of Judge Wendy G. Getty.
Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to call the Fairfield Police Department's Major Crimes Unit at 428-7600, the 24-hour Tip Line at 428-7345, or Crime Stoppers at 644-7867