Peek Gaddis is a 22-year-old mom who like a lot of new moms had trouble falling asleep because her new baby cries in the night. A pretty common problem — but according to police, this young mother came up with the worst solution possible.
Gaddis punched her 2-month-old baby boy in the head — several times — with her fist.
Thankfully, the child survived the horrific attack from his sleep-deprived mom, who works as a nurse’s aide. But the baby suffered severe injuries. His mom cracked the little guy’s skull in several places, causing bleeding on the baby’s brain.
Bleeding in the brain can cause severe brain damage in adults. In small children, it can lead to developmental disorders, disrupted motor function — and even death.
Records of the police investigation into the May 10 attack in Colerain Township, Ohio say that Gaddis, the mother of two other children, including a 1-year-old, admitted to officers that she punched her baby several times with her closed fist.
What would motivate any mother to do such a horrifying thing to her own baby? Gaddis told police that she was “frustrated” because “he was crying and making it difficult for her to sleep.”
The baby boy and another child, the 1-year-old, have been removed from the care of Gaddis and placed in foster homes. The 22-year-old’s third child is in the custody of the child’s father.
While the Hamilton County Job and Family Services division reported that there was no open case against Gaddis at the time of her vicious assault on her own baby, the department had investigated complaints about her before.
The JFS had “contact” with Gaddis in 2010 and again in 2013, but the agency’s spokesperson, Brian Gregg, told the Cincinnatti news site that under state law, he was not permitted to make public details of those contacts.
But he said that the agency immediately took action when the mom’s attack on her baby was reported.
“We began investigating as soon as we were notified,” Gregg said. “That child and a one-year-old sibling are safe, and we have placed them in foster care, and we will continue our investigation at this point.”
On a particularly disheartening note, Gregg added that the case of Peek Gaddis and her baby is not an unusual one.
“I will tell you we see this type of thing on a daily basis, and it is sad,” he said.
In fact, the case surfaces just a few days after a stepdad in Mesa, Arizona was arrested on charges that he hit his 22-month-old stepdaughter in the face, causing her death.
Peek Gaddis was charged with felonious assault and held on $15,000 bail. A judge ordered her to make no contact with any of her kids as well.
[Image: Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office]