Looking through our lamentable catalogue of stories in which a baby is killed when a parent or other caregiver has flown into a game-induced rage, most of them involve shaking. Two involved a strike to the body. In one, an infant was dropped on her head.
Well, we have a new low in the realm of horrible things done to a newborn by an adult who can't control his temper. In High Point, N.C. last week, authorities say Brian Jack Frazier, 20, hit his two-week-old son in the face when his crying interrupted his video game session.
Frazier then went back to sleep, said investigators and evidently didn't check on the child for another nine hours, as he discovered the baby was unresponsive. Medical staff pronounced the child (pictured above) dead an hour later.
Frazier is in gaol, and so is the baby's mother, charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder. Frazier is charged with first degree murder and prosecutors in Guilford County have not yet ruled out seeking the death penalty. The home apparently was squalid enough that family members are wondering why the children were not placed into protective custody after a social worker's visit earlier.
I can fly off the handle about a lot of things, but I am terrified of holding babies, frankly, because I know it takes very little to cause serious, permanent injury to their heads. The idea of someone punching a two-week-old in the face is something that takes physical effort to put out of my mind. This trend is by now so long tenured and ugly that I'm wondering when a public service campaign about baby shaking and video gaming begins.
It's incredibly sad and mortifying to the gaming community that some people have to be told to calm it the hell down if they're new parents, but I don't see any other proactive way to address this. People who shouldn't be parents will always have kids.
High Point baby killed by father's face punch was living in squalor, relatives say [The Winston-Salem Journal. Image via WTVR-TV]