FORT PIERCE, Fla. - A 21-year-old man was arrested Monday after police linked him to an infant with a skull fracture, broken clavicle and "brain bleed," according to an affidavit released Tuesday.
Michael Warfle, of the 2300 block of South 29th Street in Fort Pierce, faces charges including aggravated child abuse accessory after the fact and making a false report to law enforcement officials.
Fort Pierce police about 9:45 a.m. Monday went to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute, where the infant's mother said she was at work when Warfle contacted her and said the infant fell from a bassinet onto the floor. The infant is nearly 3 months old, said Sgt. Dennis McWilliams, police spokesman.
The child soon was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach. Warfle said he watched the child while the mother was at work from about 8:30 p.m. Sunday to 8:30 a.m. Monday. He said about 8 a.m. Monday, the infant started crying. He said he began rocking the bassinet and that it flipped over, causing the infant to fall.
The infant lost consciousness so he performed CPR and put water on his face until he woke, Warfle told police. He said he called the mother and didn't take the infant to the hospital at her request because she was on her way home. He said she arrived in about 20 to 30 minutes and they took him to the hospital.
The mother said Warfle has watched her son two or three times. She said she got a call from Warfle as she got off work informing her that her son had fallen, but said Warfle didn't mention performing CPR.
About 2:30 p.m. Monday, an officer spoke with St. Mary's officials and was told the infant "had a right side brain bleed, a left side skull fracture, a broken right clavicle and (an) old 12th rib fracture." The injuries, the investigator learned, weren't consistent with a 2- to 3-foot fall.
Warfle was taken into custody, and was told he was under arrest. He then said he didn't watch the infant Sunday night, saying another person did. He said he stayed at the home because his residence has no power. He said he left about 7:30 a.m. Monday and returned to his apartment.
Warfle said he heard a "thud" from the infant's mother's apartment and went over there. Warfle said the person watching the infant indicated he fell from the bassinet. That person asked Warfle to say Warfle was caring for the infant when he fell, saying "he could not be involved in this," an affidavit states.
Warfle agreed to do so because the person was a friend and lent him money.