Los Angeles police are investigating an incident in which an officer tackled a hit-and-run suspect without realizing the man was holding a 10-month-old baby.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore told the department’s civilian oversight panel on Tuesday the infant was found to have a fractured skull but that it remains unclear what caused the injury.
“The doctors could not and cannot definitively identify the source of the injury, whether it was the result of the officer’s actions,” the earlier collision or some other incident, Moore said. The investigation is ongoing, Moore said.
Moore said officers working a gang enforcement detail in the Newton Division saw a driver shouting and acting erratically about 11:20 p.m. Friday and drove toward his vehicle.
The man “accelerated away” before crashing into a large flatbed truck and driving off once more, with the officers in pursuit, Moore said.
Eventually, the driver stopped, got out of his vehicle and ran, at which point an officer used his “body weight to conduct a takedown.”
After taking the man to the ground, the officer realized that he was holding his 10-month-old child.
The child appeared to be “calm and uninjured” at the scene, but was later determined to have a fractured skull, Moore said. The father was taken into custody and charged with child endangerment, Moore said.
Moore said investigators found a child carrier in the man’s vehicle that was not secured to the seat. They also found narcotics and ammunition in the vehicle, Moore said.