SELINSGROVE -- Police in Selinsgrove arrested a father and charged him with attempted criminal homicide for abusing his infant son. Authorities say the man tried to flee to New York but was arrested in Hazleton on Friday after he was involved in a crash.
Police say Mahmoud Ibrahim, 29, is from Egypt but is living in Selinsgrove under an expired tourist visa. Authorities were concerned he would leave the country, so he was charged Friday with attempted homicide. Police believe Ibrahim did not want the baby to be born, because the child was born out of wedlock, which is against his faith.
Four-month-old Ali Ibrahim is at Geisinger Medical Center near Danville, recovering from brain and eye injuries as well as numerous broken bones. Police believe the infant was abused by his father, Mahmoud Ibrahim of Selinsgrove.
According to investigators, the abuse happened late last month inside this house on West Snyder Street in Selinsgrove. Ibrahim was alone with the child and called 911 when the baby stopped breathing. Police say Ibrahim told investigators that he did not want the baby to be born, since the child was born out of wedlock.
"You never want to hear about any child getting hurt at all. I love my girls and I can't imagine doing something like that to them. I couldn't imagine anyone else doing that to a child, especially an infant. They're just defenseless," Allison Terrio said.
Allison Terrio has two small children and says the abuse allegations hit too close to home.
"I've never met them. I've only ever seen them coming in and out of the house. It's just terrible that it could be so close to home," Terrio said.
Some neighbors did not wish to speak on camera but they tell Newswatch 16 they're shocked because they know the couple and they never once heard them fighting. Other neighbors say they're surprised because this is a normally quiet neighborhood, and they are concerned because there are a lot of children who live around here.
"It makes us worry about the children's safety on our street. It's just heartbreaking," another neighbor, Janell said.
Police say Ibrahim tried to flee to New York, but was arrested in Hazleton on Friday after he crashed.
"I'm just glad that we know now that he's away and our kids are safe for right now," Janell said.
Geisinger Medical Center would not release any information on the baby's condition. Mahmoud Ibrahim is locked up in the Snyder County prison on one million dollars bail. He is scheduled to appear in court next week.