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Police: 5-month-old on life support after Pinellas father stuffs balled-up baby wipe down his throat

Posted: 7:51 PM, Jul 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-19 23:13:07-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A Pinellas County infant is fighting for his life after police say his father intentionally stuffed a balled-up baby wipe down his throat. 

Michael Hurley, 32, has been arrested on a charge of attempted murder in the first degree.

According to Tarpon Springs Police, on Tuesday night, the child's mother came home from work and found the child choking. She immediately grabbed her 5-month-old son and took him outside, screaming for help. Neighbors rushed to her side and held the child upside down she put her two index fingers into her son's mouth and pulled out the wipe. 

Police say that Hurley was at home alone with the child when he began choking. He told police that he was wiping around the child's mouth with a wipe and that he "cannot remember" and "does not know what happened" or how the wipe became deeply lodged in the infant's throat. Hurley went on to call the incident a "freak accident."

According to an arrest report, when police searched the home they found the wipe "securely balled up." Police also note that the wipe was completely saturated in blood, "with no visible white." When they opened up the wipe for further examination, they discovered that the deep center of the wipe was void of blood. This led officers to believe that the wipe had been balled-up, and intentionally stuffed deep into the infant's throat.

Hurley and the child's mother both told police that their son has had developmental delays caused by complications at birth, including ones that impact his gross motor skills.

The 5-month-old boy is currently in critical condition. Police report that he is medically sedated and not breathing on his own. 

Hurley was arrested on Wednesday night and is currently being held in the Pinellas County Jail without bond.

Mary Stringini is a Digital Reporter for ABC Action News. Follow her on Twitter @MaryWFTS.