Dad charged with child abuse
A Sparta man has been charged with first-degree child abuse of his 20-day-old son.
According to Sparta Police officer David Price, the baby was taken to the hospital on June 30 for inconsolable crying. Doctors at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital diagnosed the newborn with 19 broken bones.
The baby’s father, David Steiger, 19, told police that he remembered pushing the baby’s legs until he heard a pop in the left leg. He was reportedly changing the baby’s diaper and said the baby seemed fine after that. He also admitted the baby fell off the couch while he was caring for him. He had no reason for the other injuries, telling authorities he might have caused them but didn’t know because he had blacked out.
“We have no knowledge of what would have caused him to black out,” said Officer Price.
Steiger was arrested on July 3, even before the warrant was issued. “We wanted to act quickly because we knew he had ties to Georgia and considered him a potential flight risk,” said Price. He explained Steiger has only lived in Sparta for two years.
Steiger was arraigned on Friday, July 5 on one charge of first-degree child abuse, and bond was set at $100,000 cash or surety bond. He could face up to life in prison if convicted. “The penalty is just as serious as a murder charge,” noted Price.
Police do not consider the baby’s mother a suspect in the case.