A 22-year-old Lower Saucon Township man is facing charges after police say he shook a 2-month-old baby, allegedly causing serious injuries to the infant.
In papers filed earlier this week at Northampton County District Court 03-2-04, authorities laid out their case against Asa Malcolm Asciolla of the 2600 block of Wassergass Road.
An investigation began after officers were called to Asciolla’s home for a reported medical emergency involving a male infant on Jan. 18, according to a criminal complaint that is part of the affidavit of probable cause filed in the case.
According to the complaint, the baby “was reported to not be breathing” at the time, and was subsequently rushed to the emergency department at St. Luke’s University Health Network “due to concerns of a choking episode while (he was) being bottle fed by his father, Asa Asciolla.”
Police said they learned that the baby had reportedly lost consciousness for approximately one or two minutes.
At St. Luke’s, doctors discovered the boy had suffered an intercranial injury and he was subsequently transferred to Lehigh Valley Health Network, where that hospital’s Child Protection Team noted the following injuries that police listed in the criminal complaint: “abusive head trauma” including bilateral subdural hemorrhages and retinal hemorrhages; a lesion on the right proximal tibia; a healing distal tibia fracture on the left leg; forehead bruising; right ear bruising; petechial bruising beneath the right eye; a right cheek bruise; a jaw bruise; and cluster bruising on one shin.
Police said a second “skeletal survey” conducted by physicians on the baby Feb. 8 revealed previously unidentified fractures “not…seen on Jan. 18, 2023.”
In the descriptions that accompany the charges against Asciolla listed in the complaint, authorities indicated that physicians eventually concluded that the child had suffered nine fractured ribs, a fractured clavicle and two broken tibias, in addition to brain bleeding.
Police said they conducted a follow-up interview with Asciolla on Jan. 26, during which he “admitted to minor shaking of (the baby) during Jan. 18, 2023 resuscitation measures, which was not reported during the initial interview on Jan. 19, 2023.”
“Asa Asciolla acknowledged that (the baby’s) ‘brain issue’ probably happened because of shaking,” the complaint said.
Asciolla is six feet tall and weighs approximately 245 pounds, according to descriptive information contained in the complaint.
Northampton County court records indicate he is charged with six felony counts of aggravated assault, one misdemeanor 1 count of simple assault, four misdemeanor 2 counts of reckless endangerment and two felony counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
According to the court docket filed in his case, Asciolla was released on $50,000 unsecured bail following a preliminary arraignment Wednesday before District Judge Alan Mege.
A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled to be held Thursday, June 29 at 11 a.m. in District Court 03-2-04 in Lower Saucon Township.
Asciolla is being represented by attorney Mark Freeman of Media, Delaware County, according to the docket.
Note: All individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. This story was compiled using information from Lower Saucon Township Police and Northampton County court records.