New Castle News

November 10, 2012

London man charged with severely harming baby

Debbie Wachter
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — A London man who moved to Neshannock after meeting his girlfriend online is accused of severely injuring their infant son.

Neshannock Township police arrested 27-year-old Craig Vincent Underwood yesterday after learning from Children’s Hospital that the 3-month-old baby had suffered a fractured skull, multiple broken ribs, a broken leg, black eyes, bruises and scratches earlier in the week.

Police have charged Underwood with aggravated assault, simple assault and endangering the welfare of children. District Judge Scott McGrath set his bond at $250,000. Underwood is in the Lawrence County jail.

Underwood had been living with the child’s mother in a house on Shenango Road, according to police, and was taking care of the baby while his mother was at work.

Police learned that the couple had been arguing on Monday and that Underwood had threatened to leave.

The mother told police that she went home from work that day around 4 p.m. and picked up the baby and noticed he had two black eyes and bruises and scratches on his face. When she asked Underwood what happened, he said he didn’t know what she was talking about, police said.

The mother took the baby to a doctor’s office Tuesday and heeded the pediatrician’s advice to take the baby to Children’s Hospital for further evaluation. That was when the extent of the baby’s injuries was revealed.

The doctor also contacted Lawrence County Children and Youth Services through a Child Line report. The agency then called police.

The baby’s mother told police that when she returned home from the doctor’s office to confront Underwood, she found he had packed some clothes and a couple of electronic game systems and was gone.

Relatives of the baby’s mother told police that she had met Underwood online and that he had moved here from England to be with her. The mother had gone back to work after their baby’s birth and Underwood had agreed to stay at home and take care of the child, according to reports.

The mother told police that several times she had seen Underwood grab the baby by the head and back and put one hand on his back and one on his head and forcefully push him into the crib. She told police she had stopped him when she saw him doing that, and he would tell her the baby needed to be disciplined.

Polilce determined that Underwood was the only person who had been with the baby during the time he was injured.