Johnny Dale.jpg

Johnny Dale

OSKALOOSA — Police have charged the caregiver of a four-month-old infant who sustained brain and spinal cord injuries this week.

Johnny Lynn Dale Jr., 21, of Oskaloosa, was charged with child endangerment causing serious injury, a class C felony, Wednesday. Dale had an initial appearance and is being held on a $250,000 cash only bond. A class C felony in Iowa carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison if convicted.

Oskaloosa Police in court filings said on June 16 officers were sent to Mahaska Health Partnership in Oskaloosa for a suspected child abuse case. According to court filings, a four-month-old child was admitted to the emergency room with seizure-like symptoms.

Dale had been left alone with the child and was the child’s primary caregiver, police say, from 9:30 p.m. on June 15 until 2 a.m. June 16. Dale was the boyfriend of the child’s mother.

When the mother returned home, police say the child had a bruise on its forehead, was visibly pale and would not wake up.

According to court documents, Dale told the investigators from the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation that he said he was frustrated with the baby during the night. Police say Dale told them that he was “bouncing” the baby on an air mattress in an attempt to get the baby to sleep.

Court documents say the child suffered severe brain and spinal cord injuries.

The child's current condition is unclear. An application for a search warrant by Oskaloosa police indicated the child was taken to a Des Moines hospital by air ambulance.

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