Police: Baby Had Broken Ribs

(Memphis) A 7-month-old baby was recovering Thursday after police said his parents did not do their job.

Eighteen-year-old Lashonta Shields and 20-year-old Eric Harris, Sr., are in jail and facing child abuse and neglect charges.

The baby, whom police described as “severely underweight,” lived with his parents at Peppertree Apartments.

“I mean it hurts,” Betty Gaines said. “Why would you do that? If you don’t want it, give it away. Don’t have him.”

Gaines has lived in the complex for 25 years, checking on neighbors and knowing what’s going on.  However, she had no idea what police said happened between the three months before charges were filed.

“I didn’t hear anything about it. I’m just now learning about that. I didn’t know anything about that,” Gaines explained.

According to Memphis Police, the 7-month-old was taken to the hospital in December, and an x-ray revealed broken ribs.

The child was treated and released back to his parents, but a report shows Shield and Harris never followed up.

The affidavit explains prescriptions were never filled, four appointments were missed, another five appointments were canceled, and a home health nurse was told they were not welcome.

After the nurse’s services were refused, the Department of Child Services called police, police filed charges, and the baby was taken away.

Kids played at a playground across the street from the apartment complex on Thursday. An adult watched, making sure the children were safe after tough news for any parent to hear.

“Yes. Especially about a baby. Come on. I can imagine how the parents are now. So I hope the baby (will) be alright,” Gaines said.

Both parents are expected in court Friday morning. They are being held on a $40,000 bond.

DCS is not able to say much because of the on-going investigation. The baby is being taken care of by family members.

DCS adds they will make sure he will get the medical attention he needs.

If you suspect child abuse being done, call the child abuse hotline at 877-237-0004.


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