DECATUR — Police say a Decatur mother who told them she had “anger issues” is now facing charges she broke bones in her baby boy’s left leg and caused other injuries, including bleeding inside his head.
Police said Laurel A. Szekely, 28, was arrested Dec. 24 after the injuries to the child, now 3 months old, were reported. In a sworn police affidavit made public Thursday, Szekely was listed as being booked on two preliminary charges of aggravated battery to a child under 13 years old, a Class X felony. Preliminary charges are subject to review by the state’s attorney’s office.
Writing in the affidavit, police detective James Knierim said police were called after Szekely brought her baby to Decatur Memorial Hospital. Doctors found a broken tibia and fibula in the child's left leg, and an Illinois Department of Children and Family Services investigator called the police.
“During the investigation I found that this same child had been admitted to Decatur Memorial Hospital on Nov. 29 with swelling to the left side of the head,” Knierim said.
Subsequent medical examinations found the child had suffered two bouts of intracranial bleeding caused by “blunt force trauma,” Knierim said. The baby was also found to have elevated liver enzymes, a condition associated with squeezing the rib cage down onto the liver, he said.
During questioning, police said Szekely admitted handling the child with “way more force than she should have,” which had caused the head injuries. She said she had also “squeezed the infant’s leg hard” while changing him and believes that is how the leg was injured because that leg then became sensitive to pain, police said.
Knierim said Szekely complained that the baby “is not like other babies” because he cried all the time. “Laurel stated she has anger issues … she advised she often explodes and loses her temper and needs help,” Knierim added.
Szekely remained in the Macon County Jail on Thursday night in lieu of $100,000 bond. If she makes bail, she is ordered to stay away from her baby.