Pensacola man accused of shaking baby, causing brain injuries

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — A Pensacola man accused of shaking a baby boy for 8 to 10 seconds and causing injuries was arrested Tuesday.

Joe Gesse, 24, is charged with aggravated child abuse, according to an Escambia County Sheriff’s Office arrest warrant.

The warrant says Gesse was in custody of the child on June 6 for about five hours while his mother was at work. When the woman returned from work, the child “was not acting right,” the warrant states.

The woman took the child to the emergency room at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, where doctors discovered new and old hemorrhages on the child’s brain. Doctors concluded these injuries were consistent with shaken baby syndrome.

The child had to be put on a ventilator and a medically-induced coma, according to the warrant.

Gesse volunteered to be interviewed by investigators at the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. The warrant says Gesse told investigators he shook the child for 8 to 10 seconds.

A warrant was issued for Gesse’s arrest. He was booked into the Escambia County jail Tuesday morning.

Investigators wrote in the warrant the child has moderate brain activity, but it is unknown what long-term disabilities the child could face.

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