Man charged in ‘most severe case’ of child abuse cop has ever seen

Submitted by Pat Minelli on August 20, 2010 – 5:00pm.
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By Shawn Hogendorf, Correspondent

A 22-year-old man from Savage was charged with assault this week in what a police officer called the “most severe case” of child abuse he has ever seen.

Thomas Edward Ampe is accused of maliciously abusing his 4-week-old daughter, who has Down syndrome, to the point that she suffered 56 fractured bones and had three areas of bleeding and bruising to her brain.

“In my 33 years [as a police officer] this is the most severe case of child abuse I have ever seen,” said Savage police Capt. Dave Muelken. “This was an extremely serious case that required careful and compassionate investigation by our officers.”

Ampe was charged Wednesday with first-degree assault by the Scott County Attorney’s Office. There was a bail hearing in Scott County District Court Thursday and bail was set at $50,000. Ampe posted bail and was released from jail.

The infant has been released from the hospital and is no longer living at the home, Muelken said. No other charges are expected to be filed in the case.

According to the criminal complaint:

Police received a report that a mother and her 4-week-old daughter were being transported to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis July 22 so the baby could be treated for a rib fracture and bruises on her cheek and chest in the intensive-care unit.

When the baby arrived at the hospital, a bone scan revealed a total of 56 fractures — including multiple fractures to her ribs, legs, arms and knees. An MRI revealed three areas of the baby’s brain that had bleeding and bruising.

During an interview with police on July 22, Ampe told detectives that his daughter is “typically fussy and crying from the time he gets home from work until he goes to sleep.” Ampe further stated that he sometimes gets frustrated when he can’t take care of his daughter and will typically hand her off to someone else.

Ampe told detectives he remembers the frustration with his daughter first happening around July 16 and that he was “set off” by her crying for long periods of time.

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