Police: Dallastown man pulled baby from girlfriend’s arms, causing injuries

Ron Musselman
York Dispatch

A Dallastown man is facing child endangerment charges after pulling a 9-month-old boy from his girlfriend’s arms, injuring the baby, police said.

Cooper Michael Church, 21, is charged with one misdemeanor count each of child endangerment and simple assault and a summary count of harassment.

He posted $25,000 bail and has a preliminary hearing set for July 7 before District Judge Scott Laird.

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Around 10 p.m. Sunday, York Area Regional Police responded to a domestic dispute at an apartment in the 300 block of East Main Street in Dallastown.

A woman told police she was sitting in a recliner in the living room holding her son when her boyfriend came over and tried to take him from her. She said she did not want to hand him over, and Church began forcefully trying to take him, even as she kicked him and tried to push him away, according to a criminal complaint.

Cooper Michael Church

After eventually fending him off, the woman said she grabbed her phone and tried to call for help, but Church took her phone and went into the kitchen.

Once there, Church went up behind his girlfriend and put her in a slight choke hold, she said, and he was able to take the boy away.

A neighbor told police she could hear the domestic incident going on in the upstairs apartment and tried to open up the apartment door. But she said Church was standing in the way with the baby and would not let her through, police said. 

Church eventually gave the baby to the neighbor and left. Church's girlfriend and the neighbor locked themselves in the apartment until police arrived. 

Officers later interviewed Church, who told them his girlfriend was sitting on a recliner with the baby and he "reached out for him as if he wanted to go with him," the complaint said.

Church admitted he continued to try and take the baby away from his girlfriend because he believed the boy wanted to go with him, but she refused to let him go. 

The baby was examined at the scene by EMS personnel and was taken to York Hospital for evaluation of abrasions and broken blood vessels, police said.

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