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Man Faces Aggravated Assault Charge Over His Infant Son’s Broken Leg

A Manheim man is accused of breaking his infant son’s leg at a house in Elizabethtown when the baby would not cooperate during a diaper change.

Michael Allen Minnick, whose 24th birthday was on Sunday, Oct. 8, is charged with the second-degree felony of aggravated assault and the first-degree misdemeanor of endangering welfare of children for the events that police said took place at a home on Snyder Avenue between Locust Street and Mount Joy Street in Elizabethtown during the predawn hours of Wednesday, March 29. Court records show that Minnick, who now lives on South Charlotte Street near West Ferdinand Street in Manheim, is free on unsecured bail while awaiting a preliminary hearing scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 7.

A spokesman for the district attorney’s office said the child has recovered from his injury and lives with his mother in Elizabethtown. Minnick has moved to Manheim since the date of the injury, the spokesman said.

Elizabethtown Police Lt. Shane M. Deardorff laid out the allegations against Minnick in a sworn statement filed in court. According to Deardorff’s sworn statement:

Officers Alex Leonard and Alex Reed were sent to the Snyder Avenue house in the predawn hours of March 29 for a report of a three-week-old child whose leg was possibly pulled out of place. Leonard spoke with Minnick, who said he was changing his son’s diaper when he heard a popping sound. Minnick also told Leonard that the baby tended to pull his legs while having his diaper changed and that he went to hold down the legs while changing the diaper when he heard the popping sound.

Deardorff went on to write in the sworn statement that he interviewed Minnick at Lancaster General Hospital. Deardorff wrote that Minnick said that the baby was uncooperative during the diaper change, so he pulled the baby’s leg down. Deardorf wrote, “He said he grabbed (the baby) above his knee. Michael Minnick said that he used his right hand, grabbed the leg and pushed it down on the table. (The baby’s) leg went straight. Michael Minnick said that it appears he used too much force. Michael Minnick said he pushed (the baby’s) leg down and held it down for a few seconds before he felt the pop. Michael Minnick said he was frustrated at the time, and the crying was stressful.”

Several days later, Deardoff got the baby’s medical records. Deardorff wrote in his sworn statement that a doctor who treated the baby stated in medical records that “a large amount of force, beyond that used in changing a diaper, would be needed in order to cause this injury.”

Because aggravated assault is a second-degree felony, Minnick could get a maximum of 10 years for that in prison if convicted on that charge. Endangering welfare of children is a second-degree misdemeanor, so that charge has a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Minnick did not respond by press time to an invitation to be interviewed for this article.

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