Father Charged for Allegedly Hurting Two-Week-Old Son

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MAYFIELD -- Authorities in Lackawanna County said a two-week-old baby was handled so violently the child had to be hospitalized.

That baby is Evan Dinning. He's spent almost half of his life in the hospital for common medical problems for an infant, but it's what police said happened at home in Mayfield that's now landed him in the intensive care unit at Geisinger Medical Center near Danville. 

The baby's father, Donald Dinning, is behind bars and charged with assault for allegedly causing baby Evan's injuries.

Dinning, of Mayfield, was led in handcuffs out of a magistrate's office in Archbald only a little more than two weeks after welcoming a newborn son, Evan.

While the father was being charged with aggravated assault, the son was in the intensive care unit at Geisinger Medical Center near Danville.

Dinning, baby Evan, and the rest of their family live in an apartment building in Mayfield. Police first started investigating abuse to the baby this week. However, according to court papers, Dinning admitted to hurting the baby Sunday just after the infant had returned from the hospital because of an infection.

Dinning told police baby Evan wouldn't stop crying, so he roughly picked the infant up. Evan's head snapped back and his face turned red.

"It just boggles the mind how people have no patience with young children anymore. I've seen so many stories on it. It just makes me and my wife ill," said Pete Smith of Jermyn.

Newswatch 16 told people in the Mayfield area about Dinning's arrest. Many said it's a story they hear all too often these days. Their thoughts were mostly with baby Evan, who doctors said suffered severe head trauma. He has two detached retinas and bleeding in his brain.

"It makes me sick to my stomach, and I see it in the paper way too often. You see it in the paper, you see it on the news. It's a tragedy for the baby, for the family, for the neighborhood," said Ron Jones of Carbondale.

According to medical experts listed in court papers, baby Evan is expected to survive. His father, Donald Dinning, is locked up in Lackawanna County Prison on $100,000 bail.