2-year-old still hospitalized after shaking episode

Published 7:24 pm Friday, July 14, 2006

Two-year-old Joshua Peoples is still fighting for his life at the University of Mississippi Medical Center one month after allegedly being violently shaken by his father.

“The baby is still having problems with brain swelling, and they are going to place a shunt in his head to relieve pressure,” said Cleveland Police Investigator George Serio. “Joshua will soon be transferred to UMC’c Rehabilitation Center to recover.

The boy’s father, 24-year-old Erwin Peoples of Cleveland is being held at the Bolivar County Regional Correctional Facility on a $75,000 bond for felony child abuse.

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He was arrested the afternoon of the incident when Cleveland police responded to a call about a child choking. When they arrived at Peoples’ apartment, they found Peoples with the child.

Joshua was having difficulty breathing, so Emergency Management Services was notified.

Officers who were with the child noticed some injuries, and immediately contacted investigators.

While the child was transported to Bolivar Medical Center, the father was taken to the station for questioning. The child’s mother arrived on the scene and then was taken to the hospital to be with her son.

After an examination of the boy by emergency room medical personnel, tests indicated that the child had a concussion and may have been suffering from Shaken Baby Syndrome. He was then transported to the Jackson hospital.

Cleveland Police Chief Drew Warren said the officers who responded did a good job with the preliminary investigation as they noticed the telltale signs of a history of abuse to Joshua.

Warren said if Joshua dies, the department will charge the father with murder.