Police: Fairview Twp. man struck 3-year-old

Christopher Dornblaser
  • Police say Jeremiah Musser, 36, told officials the child he was watching fell.
  • Musser allegedly lied about that, and admitted later to hitting the child, police said.
  • He remains in York County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bail.

A Fairview Township man remains in York County Prison after police say he struck a 3-year-old boy in the forehead earlier this month.

Jeremiah Stephan Musser, 36, allegedly told authorities that the boy he was watching had fallen, causing injuries, but he later admitted to hitting the child in the head, police said.

Musser, of 205 Old York Road, Apt. 7, is charged with aggravated assault with the victim less than 6 years old, simple assault  and endangering child welfare, according to charging documents.

Injuries: About 2 a.m. on Feb. 3, York County Children and Youth Services reached out to Fairview Township Police in reference to potential case of child abuse.

Musser and the victim's mother brought the child to the Carlisle Regional Medical Center, and a doctor there found several bruises, abrasions and contusions on the child's head and body, documents state. The two told the doctor that the child had fallen in the apartment, according to police.

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The doctor told a representative from York County Children and Youth Services that he did not believe the injuries were consistent with a fall inside the home, according to police.

The doctor enacted a "safety plan" and put the child and his 6-year-old sister in the care of a grandparent, charging documents state.

Watching child: Detective Jarrett L. Boyles went to Musser's residence later that day and was told Musser was watching the children while their mother was at work, court records state.

Police say Musser said he was in the bedroom watching television with the boy when the child became bored and began running through the house chasing their dog. Musser said the child frequently chases the dog and he didn't think anything of it, documents state.

Musser said he was watching television until he heard a "thud" in the hallway, just outside the bedroom door, according to police.

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He said he looked into the hallways and saw the child on the floor, documents state. Musser told police he picked up the child and calmed him down, police said.

"Jeremiah said he immediately saw a lump on (the child's) forehead, and it started to bruise right away," Boyles wrote in charging documents.

He called the mother about 7:30 p.m. that day, police said, and he told her the child had fallen and injured himself.

The mother conferred with the child's grandmother, and she decided to take the child to the hospital to have him evaluated and treated, police said.

Struck: During an interview at the York County Children's Advocacy Center on Feb. 7, the child told officials that Musser struck him in the head, according to charging documents.

Musser met with police that day and was interviewed a second time, during which he admitted to hitting the child in the head, causing a large hematoma (solid swelling of clotted blood), documents state.

Musser said he lied about it because he didn't want to get in trouble, police said.

Charges were filed against Musser, and  he was arraigned  Wednesday, Feb. 15, online court records indicate. He remains in York County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bail. It is unclear if he has an attorney.

His preliminary hearing was Feb. 22 at District Judge Scott Gross' office.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.