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Police charge Brookline couple after their baby is found to have broken bones

Posted by Brock Parker  March 1, 2011 05:28 PM

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Police have charged a Brookline couple with assault and battery on a child after doctors discovered that their newborn baby had suffered a number of broken bones over the course of several weeks.

James P. Nirenberg, 21, and Rebecca Schneider, 20, both of 473 VFW Parkway, are each free after posting $5,000 bail Monday after they were arrested on multiple charges including assault and battery on a child under 14 years old and reckless endangerment of a child.

Brookline Police arrested them at Children’s Hospital last Thursday after the hospital reported that the couple’s baby boy, born in December, had suffered seven broken bones in the past 3-6 weeks with what doctors called no reasonable explanation, police said.

The injuries were detected when Schneider took the baby to the Children’s Hospital emergency room on Tuesday at 3 p.m. and told emergency room workers that while she had been holding the baby the night before Nirenberg was playing with the child’s leg and they herd a pop. She said the baby was “fussy” for a while, but finally fell asleep, according to a police report.

Doctors showed police x-rays of the broken leg and other injuries, such as broken fingers, a broken arm, a toe and a shoulder blade that all appeared to be between three to six weeks old, according to police records on file at Brookline District Court.

Children’s Hospital filed a neglect report with the state Department of Children and Families and was going to re-file the report as abuse. According to a police report the Melrose-Wakefield Hospital had previously filed a report against Schneider three days after the baby’s birth because she had tested positive for a chemical found in marijuana.

The couple could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon. They are due back in court in April.

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