- The Washington Times - Friday, October 28, 2005

A 7-week-old child is in intensive care after his foster mother repeatedly slapped, shook and dropped him, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said yesterday.

Authorities charged Tanya Jenkins, of the unit block of Bass Circle in Southeast, with first-degree cruelty to children after she acknowledged what she had done to try to quiet the child.

Miss Jenkins was arrested Tuesday by Metropolitan Police Department officers and is expected to appear this morning before D.C. Superior Court Judge Wendell Gardner Jr.

Miss Jenkins said she dropped the child six or seven times while trying to change him or after giving him a bath and that she shook him numerous times, according to court documents.

However, she said that each time she dropped the child, “it was by accident,” according to the documents.

In the interview with police, Miss Jenkins said she shook and struck the child out of frustration “because he would not stop crying.”

Police could not give the women’s age.

Sources with Child and Family Services Agency, under the condition of anonymity, said Miss Jenkins had attempted to return the infant to the agency.

“The woman came back and told people in the agency that the baby cried all the time, and she couldn’t get any sleep,” the sources said.

The child had been in Miss Jenkins’ care since Sept. 12, about three days after he was born. She told police that all of the incidents occurred in October.

The infant is at Children’s Hospital. Court documents show the infant has multiple injuries that are consistent with shaken baby syndrome — including hemorrhaging and swelling of the brain.

He also has a skull fracture and bruising under one of his eyes.

The sources said he is not expected to live through the week.

“If true, it’s unacceptable by anyone’s definition,” said D.C. Council member Adrian M. Fenty, Ward 4 Democrat and chairman of the Committee on Human Services. “Immediate action needs to be taken against the employees of [the agency] who would’ve encouraged the mom to take the baby back.”

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