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Family defends man accused of biting off piece of infant son's nose


A family member of the young father accused of biting off part of his infant son's nose defended the man Friday, saying the injury was an accident and insisting he was "not a monster."

18-year-old Joshua Cooper is in Solano County Jail, charged with child endangerment and mayhem, after police say he bit off about a third of the nose of his one-month old baby boy. He is being held on $765,000 bail.

"The investigation revealed he was frustrated that the child would not stop crying," said Fairfield Police Lt. Stephen Crane.

But a woman claiming to be a relative of Cooper told KTVU by phone: "It was an accident. The story being told is not what happened. He [Cooper] is not a monster."

The caller asked that KTVU not reveal her name.

Police told KTVU the infant's 17-year-old mother called authorities just after it happened Thursday morning. They said eight people including Cooper and other family members were in the apartment at the time.

The piece of the nose was recovered, but the only information on the baby is that he was in stable condition Friday.

Police said the baby also has other injuries, but don't know yet when or how the baby got them.

"The child also suffered a skull fracture and a brain hemorrhage. The family has been cooperative," said Crane.
Neighbors at the complex told KTVU the family keeps to themselves.

"From what I've seen, they're a pretty decent family. Everybody's quiet," said area resident Tenea Cagler.

Mementos on the window sill of the family apartment gave no indication of the horror that happened inside.

Neighbors said they saw no signs of trouble.

Cooper denied KTVU's request for a jailhouse interview. Police said Cooper has no criminal record as an adult, but would not discuss his juvenile record.

Cooper is scheduled to make his first appearance in Solano County Court on Monday afternoon.

Child protective services has been called in on the case.



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