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Police: Shaken baby in a coma; suspect jailed

By Jennifer Joas, Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 09 2014 04:33:31 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 10 2014 10:39:03 AM CDT

Police: Shaken baby in a coma; suspect jailed

EXETER TWP., Pa. -

A Berks County man is behind bars, accused of violently shaking his girlfriend's crying baby.

Cody Rigg, 20, shook the 10-month-old baby on July 3 at his home in the 4900 block of Quince Drive in Exeter Township, police said.

"It is extremely concerning because it is a child, a victim," said Meg McCallum, an assistant district attorney.

Rigg, according to police, was watching his girlfriend's daughter and admitted that the baby would not stop crying, so he grabbed her neck and started to shake her.

"My first reaction is shock because I have basically known the family for over 10 years, and it just was not expected," said Janice Casella, a neighbor.

The baby was rushed to Reading Hospital and then flown to Hershey Medical Center. Doctors said she suffered bleeding in the brain and large bruises on her face, neck and back. X-rays also revealed four rib fractures, which the doctors believe are old injuries.

"I pray for her. I hope everyone is praying for her right now. I have three small children of my own and I could not imagine what this mother is going through," said Casella.

Since the baby was admitted to the hospital, she has experienced seizures and suffered a stroke. She remains in a coma. Doctors said it is not clear if she will survive.

Rigg was charged with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children. He was committed to the Berks County Jail on $500,000 bail.

If you find yourself in a similar situation of becoming frustrated by a crying child, the assistant district attorney said remove yourself from the situation and ask for help.