A 32-year-old Berlin man has been charged with assault and attempted manslaughter after shaking his infant daughter so violently in April she was admitted to the hospital in critical condition, according to police.
Christopher Yawin was arrested at the end of June following a weeks-long investigation that began when his 3-and-a-half-month-old daughter was hospitalized with "significant injuries that were identified as being highly suspicious for abuse," police wrote in the warrant for his arrest.
The baby girl suffered a fractured skull, swelling on the brain, bleeding in the backs of her eyes, multiple broken ribs, an arm fracture that had partially healed, and bruises on her chest, abdomen and limbs. Police said her injuries were consistent with "shaken baby syndrome" and occurred on multiple occasions.
She was taken to Connecticut Children's Medical Center on April 30 and was listed in critical condition in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. The child's mother, who is Yawin's girlfriend, told police the baby had been vomiting and having seizures, according to the arrest warrant.
The Department of Children and Families contacted police two days later.
Yawin first told investigators he became nauseous and fell while holding the baby April 14. He said his arms were wrapped so tightly around the child, he must have accidentally crushed her, according to the arrest warrant.
When police told him that didn't explain the baby's injuries, Yawin claimed he was holding her when she hit her head on the refrigerator. He then said he dropped her and she hit the ground "pretty hard," the warrant states.
Investigators didn't believe him and continued to press for the truth.
"If I tell you what happened, I'm going to jail," Yawin allegedly told them.
Police said he then admitted to shaking the child.
"I shook her because she wouldn't stop crying," Yawin said, according to the arrest warrant.
Yawin was arrested June 24 and charged with first-degree assault, criminal attempt to commit first-degree manslaughter and risk of injury to a minor. Court records show he has pleaded not guilty and was held on $500,000 bond.
It's not clear if he has an attorney. No one answered the door at his home when NBC Connecticut crews reached out for comment Tuesday evening.
Police said the arrest wasn't Yawin's first. According to the warrant, Yawin is a convicted felon with a history of child abuse complaints and arrests, including one stemming from the abuse of a child he fathered with a former girlfriend.