Thursday, January 9th, 2014
Celina man sentenced for injuring baby
By Kathy Thompson
CELINA - A Celina man on Tuesday was sentenced to community control sanctions for seriously injuring his girlfriend's 4-month-old baby in July.
John Dziengelewski, 29, during the sentencing hearing in Mercer County Common Pleas Court, apologized for hurting the baby. He told Judge Jeffrey Ingraham he was "real sorry" and that he knew what he did was wrong.
Dziengelewski faced up to 36 months in prison and a $10,000 fine after pleading guilty in December to one count of attempted felonious assault. Ingraham ordered him to serve three years of basic supervision with the understanding if he violates the sanctions he may have to serve the prison sentence.
On July 20, Children's Medical Center in Dayton contacted the Mercer County Sheriff's Office regarding the infant who was undergoing treatment in the hospital's intensive care unit. The child reportedly had multiple brain bleeds and bruising to the right arm, head and chest.
Dziengelewski at the time told detectives he was taking care of the infant after his girlfriend, Kirsti Harner, left for work. He claimed he was carrying the baby to the kitchen to prepare a bottle early that morning when he stumbled over a rug and fell. He later told authorities the child might have struck his head on the edge of a table and a chair during the fall. Later he changed his story and admitted he "cracked" and struck the infant in the chest with his hand and then forced him onto a sofa and a changing table, according to court records.
"There's no excuse for what I did," Dziengelewski told Ingraham on Tuesday. "I would like to make it up."
Dziengelewski's attorney, Gregory Wilson, told Ingraham his client should never have put himself in the position of staying with the child.
"John had gone without much sleep for three days," Wilson said. "He just snapped that morning. He got rough with the child. But he's a good guy. A hard worker."
Ingraham said reports from the Mercer County Adult Probation officer shows Dziengelewski exhibits genuine remorse for his actions. He told Dziengelewski he must continue his mental health counseling sessions and any other treatment counselors believe are necessary for rehabilitation.