A 24-year-old Silver Spring man was arrested Friday on charges that he tried to kill his 2-month-old son, who remains on a ventilator at Children’s National Medical Center in the District, police said.
The child, Amir Iman-Kouadio, suffered head trauma and bleeding in his brain and had earlier rib fractures, according to investigators’ documents filed in court. If Amir survives those injuries, he will have to stay on a ventilator the rest of his life, detectives stated.
“A very tragic and sad case,” said Lt. Greg Wise of the Montgomery County police’s Major Crimes Division.
The father, Adou Louis Kouadio, was being held Friday on one count of attempted second-degree murder and two counts of first-degree child abuse. He had been a star football player at Springbrook High School, also in Silver Spring; had worked as a lifeguard; and more recently was the infant’s full-time caregiver during the day, according to court records and a family member.
“I’ve watched him be the most caring father of his son,” Kouadio’s mother, Michele Kouadio, said Friday. “My son is innocent.”
The case has similarities to another in Montgomery this month: the death of a 3-year-old boy adopted from Korea.
In both cases, detectives began investigating the boys’ fathers after being called to Children’s Hospital, where doctors were suspicious of the injuries they saw. Michele Kouadio said she understands why investigators take such cases so seriously but added, “There are also those who are unjustly accused.”
Within the past four years, Adou Louis Kouadio had been treated for psychiatric issues, according to court records. He had also pleaded guilty to marijuana possession and assault. “He went through some tough times,” his mother said.
In the recent case, two Montgomery detectives arrived at Children’s Hospital on Feb. 4 and received a troubling report from doctors. Early that morning, paramedics had been summoned to a home in Silver Spring, where they found a 2-month-old boy with no pulse, according to court records.
The medics performed CPR and took the child to Holy Cross Hospital, where doctors stabilized him and had him sent to Children’s. A CT scan revealed recent “intracranial hemorrhage,” according to police.
Doctors also found hemorrhaging in both eyes, healing rib fractures and ligament damage to the boy’s neck.
Detectives interviewed the boy’s mother, who said that the night of Feb. 3, she returned home from work at 7 p.m., fed and bathed her son, and put him to bed. She was later awakened by the boy’s father, who was panicking because the boy was unresponsive, according to police.
Detectives interviewed Kouadio, who also described the early hours of Feb. 4. About 2 a.m., he was awoken by his son’s cries. Kouadio changed the boy’s diaper and tried to give him a bottle, but he wouldn’t take it. Twenty minutes later, Kouadio said, he went to check on the boy, noticed blood coming from his nose, woke up the boy’s mother, and they called 911, according to the detectives’ summary of the father’s statement.
Kouadio said that in late January, his son had fallen and bumped his head. The boy’s mother also mentioned that incident, saying that Amir’s father was preparing his bath when the baby accidentally hit a towel rack. She said the boy had been examined at a clinic afterward and they returned home.
Kouadio could not explain how the boy had suffered such serious injuries, according to police.
Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.