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Roaring Spring Man Charged with Endangering Child


Dakota F. Bussard, 25, of Roaring Spring, is awaiting a preliminary hearing on felony charges including aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

Charges stem from an incident that Pennsylvania State Police, Hollidaysburg, responded to at about 3:59 p.m. Oct. 26.

According to police reports, the victim was a four-month-old girl, who was taken to UPMC, Bedford by her aunt and step-great grandmother.

The victim's great-aunt texted the victim's mother, who was working, to ask to take the child for the weekend. When the aunt arrived to pick up the child at the home of the child's mother, Bussard and other roommates, the baby was sleeping in the bed with Bussard and the mother was not at home. The child's face was covered with blood. Bussard claimed that the baby's pacifier was chewed by a dog and that was why her lip was cut.

At the hospital it was noted that the child had a laceration on her lip from an unknown cause and did not require stitches. The child also had bruising around her face, neck and head. When she cried, there were no tears believed to be caused from dehydration. At 8 pounds and 15 ounces, the baby was noted as being severely underweight for a four-month-old.

A healing fracture of the left wrist was also noted. The baby's pediatrician provided a report that on Sept. 27, the victim weighed 12.94 pounds.

During an interview with the child's mother, she claimed that she had checked on the child at about 5:30 that morning and that the child was fine. She stated that the child had a cut upper lip from a pacifier that had been chewed by a dog the previous weekend and a bruise on her eye from bumping into the eyeglasses of a family member who was holding her several days earlier.

When confronted with the current injuries to the child, the mother said that she believed the aunt had done it after she took the child from the residence. She also claimed that she too was trying to figure out why the child was not gaining weight.

According to information provided to Blair County Children and Youth Services, four other children had been removed from the mother due to neglect, living conditions and no food in the house. It was also reported that one of the children, a boy, was covered in bruises and was starving when he was removed from the mother's home.

During an interview with the roommate, police gathered that she and her fiance were sleeping from 7:30 that morning until about noon.

A police interview with Bussard confirmed that the mother was at work and the roommates were asleep which meant he was alone with the child for about three hours before the aunt got to the home. Bussard maintained that he didn't know what happened to the child or who could have done it.

Bussard requested an attorney and the interview was terminated. A warrant was issued for his arrest

A preliminary hearing is set for July 30 in front of Magisterial District Judge Andrew L. Blattenberger.

Unable to pay the $50,000 monetary bail, Bussard was taken to Blair County Prison.


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