The Farmington father charged with assaulting his infant daughter admitted to Farmington detectives that he squeezed her and dropped her down a staircase, according to the warrant for his arrest.
Morsy Elzawawy, 29, of 304 Colt Highway, initially told police that he had no idea how his daughter may have suffered fractured clavicles, fractures to her leg bones, including her left femur and tibia, and bruising to the abdomen, her right thigh and the bridge over her nose.
Staff at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center discovered the injuries Sept. 1 and suspected they were due to abuse. Hospital officials contacted the state Department of Children and Families, which then notified Farmington police.
The child’s injuries, hospital staff said, were “highly specific of abuse.” Hospital staff, DCF officials and police questioned the couple at the hospital, but they insisted they had no idea what caused the injuries.
A day later, Elzawawy told Farmington police that he twice dropped her down the stairs while carrying her and said he did so when he was taking valium and Percocet for injuries he’d suffered in a car accident Aug. 24 in Bristol. During his interview with detectives, Elzawawy referred to himself as “the bad guy.” After that interview, police said Elzawawy told his wife that he didn’t mean it, made a mistake and needs help.
Police noted that those comments are not consistent with someone who did something by accident.
In another interview with detectives on Sept. 5, Elzawawy said he doesn’t love the infant as much as his older child, said he did not drop his daughter and said when the infant cried “I would get so mad.” He also told the detectives that he did not know how the infant was hurt but said he would squeeze her to get her to stop crying.
“Morsy Elzawawy demonstrated with a doll provided to him during that interview, that sometimes when [the infant] is crying, he picks her up and squeezes her torso by holding her in his arms, and pressing her into his chest, which quiets her,” according to the warrant for his arrest.
He also told detectives he may have “grabbed her too hard” and that she was crying at the time. He also said he may have thrown her into a bouncy chair, and straightened her legs by pressing on them while changing her diaper. The injuries she suffered, a doctor told police, could have been caused by those actions.
Elzawawy told police he stopped taking the valium and percocet because the drugs made him “feel upset,” made him have “had dreams” and made him “very forgetful.”
Staff at CCMC said the child would not have suffered the fractures during normal handling and they believed the injuries were caused by “inflicted injury.”
Police wanted to photograph the child, but Elzawawy initially denied permission, telling police it would have been against Muslim law to do so. The mother later gave permission.
The couple’s second child was placed into foster car by DCF. When the infant was released from the hospital, she too went into foster care with the same family.
After his arrest Friday on first-degree assault, risk of injury to a minor and reckless endangerment charges, Elzawawy posted $250,000 bail. He was arraigned Monday and ordered to turn in his passport. Elzawawy is a native of Egypt.
His lawyer, Jefferson Jelly of West Hartford, said Monday that Elzawawy denies the allegations.
“I don’t believe this man hurt his child in any way, shape or form,” Jelly said. “I believe ultimately he will be vindicated.”
By Dave Owens, Hartford Courant