Pontiac father accused of shaking 3-month-old son for crying

Henry Howard charged with first-degree child abuse

Police lights. (KPRC/File)

PONTIAC, Mich. – A Pontiac father is facing a child abuse charge after he told police he shook his 3-month-old son because he became frustrated with the boy’s crying, authorities said.

Officials said Henry Rick Howard, 25, of Pontiac, took his 3-month-old child to a hospital in Pontiac on Jan. 11 because the boy was unresponsive and didn’t have a pulse. The baby was airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Detroit due to the severity of the injuries, according to police.

Henry Rick Howard (Oakland County Sheriff's Office)

Oakland County detectives learned about the incident Jan. 14, when they were contacted by Wayne County Child Protective Services, they said.

Doctors told officials that the boy had multiple injuries indicative of child abuse, authorities said.

Detectives interviewed Howard and the child’s mother, and both denied wrongdoing, according to police. The mother had been at work and Howard was the only adult with the child at the time of the incident, Oakland County officials said.

When police interviewed Howard a second time, he admitted that he had become frustrated with the 3-month-old’s crying, so he shook the boy several times, according to authorities.

“These types of cases are so incredibly sad,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “A baby is such an amazing, heavenly gift, and to see one abused is heartbreaking. There is never an excuse to hurt a child and this person will be held accountable.”

Howard has been charged with first-degree child abuse and could face a maximum sentence of life in prison, if convicted. He’s being held at the Oakland County Jail on $75,000 bond, cash or surety.

A probable cause conference is scheduled for Jan. 27.

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.