Tug-of-war over baby gets Decatur father arrested, police report | Crime and Courts

DECATUR — A Decatur man who refused to hand his 7-month-old son over to the baby’s mother, and engaged in a public struggle to hold onto him in a health clinic, was booked on preliminary charges his actions endangered the baby’s health and life.

A sworn Decatur police affidavit said the 27-year-old man, described as the baby’s “putative father,” has no parenting agreement or court ordered visitation and was never married to the mother.

The affidavit said trouble flared on March 15 when the father showed up with the baby for a doctor’s appointment at Crossing Healthcare. The father had previously kept the baby for eight days on a verbal agreement with the 23-year-old mother. She had wanted the child returned March 12, but agreed to extend the visit after the father told her he had plans for the weekend but would take the baby to the March 15 appointment.

The affidavit said the mother was waiting at the clinic and planned to take the baby home afterward. “(The father) walked into the facility holding (the baby) in his left arm,” the affidavit added. “(The mother) went to greet them and reached for the baby; (the father) then pulled the baby away from her and turned to walk out of the facility.”

The mother told him to at least stay for the appointment and then she would take the child, and the father then carried the baby to the check-out counter before turning around and trying to walk out again, said Police Officer Tyler Nottingham, writing in the affidavit.