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Forum staff reports, Published August 13 2013

Fargo man faces felony child abuse charge

FARGO — A 19-year-old Fargo man is charged with felony child abuse after hitting his infant son, causing a skull fracture and facial bruising.

Brian George White “smacked” his infant son “a couple of times” in April when he grew frustrated that the child wouldn’t stop crying, according to court documents filed Friday. White admitted to the incident last week during a meeting with a social worker.

White’s girlfriend and the child’s mother, who is not identified because she is a minor, and her mother took the baby to a clinic after they noticed some bruising the morning of April 17, according to a statement from West Fargo police Det. Derek Cruff.

The child, identified in court records as A.W., was transported to Essentia Health in Fargo via ambulance from the clinic. There, doctors determined the infant had a skull fracture on his left side. Officials later determined that the fracture was not caused by an accident, but blunt trauma to the head.

White told Jennifer Thoreson, a social worker with Cass County Social Services, that he was sleep-deprived when the incident occurred and had not slept for two days, according to Thoreson’s statement.

Thoreson’s statement also indicates White had a history of drug abuse and that he had smoked marijuana at the time of the incident.

Because the victim is a child under the age of 6, White is charged with a Class B felony. He faces up to 10 years in prison.