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Court docs: Father claimed baby's injuries were an accident

NUNDA, NY (WROC) - According to court papers, the father charged in a child abuse case in Nunda claims his baby was injured as a result of an accident.

Brock Hyde, age 35, pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and reckless assault of a child during arraignment on Tuesday.

Nunda police said Hyde was arrested after a checkup for his two-month-old son. Investigators said the infant had several injuries including a fractured skull, broken ribs and swelling of his brain.

Monday, Nunda's police chief told News 8 he's never seen such a brutal attack against such a young child in his law enforcement career.

But, in court papers, Hyde told police the baby was hurt in an accident.

In a voluntary statement, Hyde said he was playing with the child on November 28, holding and swinging his son, when he accidentally lost grip when he was startled by his wife.

"I attempted to catch him like I would squeeze a ball and I squeezed onto his sides to the back in the area of the ribs," Hyde writes in the statement. "When I squeezed I didn't catch him he made a 'ugh' sound like a grunt."

Hyde claims he couldn’t catch the two-month-old and the baby fell and hit his head on the side of the couch.

After the drop, Hyde says he held the baby and put him back in the crib. The next day, Hyde says everything seemed fine, but a few days later, his wife noticed lump on the baby's side. On December 4, the couple took the baby to the doctor. On December 11, the baby had an X-ray that showed the severe injuries.

The Livingston County prosecutor says the evidence however doesn't support Hyde's story.

"The grand jury heard some medical evidence pertaining to this case. I think the proof in this case will be sufficient to show these are horrific injuries," said Livingston County District Attorney Greg McCaffrey. "I mean a skull fracture in an 11-week-old child and fractured ribs. I don’t think a lot of times squeezing of someone's rib cage, even of an 11-week-old, is going to cause that type of horrific injury."

According to court papers, Hyde failed a polygraph. Then, during the interview, when investigators left the room, he called his wife and asked her to take the blame for the injuries.

Livingston County District Attorney Greg McCaffrey said, "The allegations are fairly horrific... I think anytime you are assaulting a young child -- the allegations and the indictment are pertaining to an eleven-week-old baby -- that's pretty much a difficult crime to prosecute. Obviously, an eleven-week old baby can't defend himself."

A judge set bail for Hyde at $200,000 bond. In court, we also learned Hyde has four previous felony convictions.

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