PD: Tempe foster baby found with bruising and genital swelling

Posted at 11:18 AM, Sep 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-23 15:07:03-04

TEMPE, AZ — A Tempe man was arrested after allegedly causing multiple injuries to a 1-year-old boy, including genital swelling.

Tempe police report that on September 17, a foster care mother contacted first responders after seeing a 1-year-old boy in her care had severe "swelling to his genitalia."

The boy was transported to Cardon's Children Medical Center, where doctors examined him. The doctors say his genital injuries were consistent with being "grabbed, pinched, twisted or torqued."

The boy also had bruises to his back, arms, thighs, neck, and ears that were in various stages of healing, according to court records. He also allegedly had fractures to both feet.

Police say there are five children at home, two who are children of 30-year-old Demetris Taquan Cooper. Other children reportedly told police that she saw Cooper "pop and punch" the victim several times.

The children say Cooper would look out the window or down the hall to make sure the mother was not around when the abuses occurred. They also say Cooper would "yank the victim out of his crib... and dangle him before dropping him on his head."

The foster mother reportedly noticed the genital swelling when she changed his diaper before heading to a dentist appointment. Court records say she panicked when she saw it and called for medical attention.

In a recorded call with the foster mother, Cooper allegedly admitted to "popping" the child.

He is being held on a $50,000 bond for child abuse.

If you suspect a child is being abused, the Arizona Department of Child Services has resources available to report the issue to a social worker. You can call the Arizona Child Abuse Hotline at 1-888-SOS-CHILD (1-888-767-2445), and will be asked for information about the child, as well as the nature of your concerns. You can also get more information from DCS about reporting abuse or neglect online.