Police: Mom caught on tape choking baby multiple times at hospital
Dashana Oldham, 20, faces multiple felony charges
Last Updated: 230 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS - A woman is facing multiple felony charges after being seen on video choking her 15-month-old son, police said.
Dashana Oldham, 20, was arrested Sunday on preliminary charges of battery and neglect after a doctor at St. Vincent Hospital told police she had seen video footage of Oldham choking her son.
The boy was admitted to St. Vincent Sept. 27 after Oldham called an ambulance because the boy was having an "episode" during which he was unresponsive, limp and had blue lips for four to six minutes, according to the probable cause affidavit.
To aid in diagnosis, doctors placed the child on a "Video EEG," which monitors brain activity and records video of the patient's appearance.
According to court documents, the child's oxygen levels dropped on multiple occasions, and when the doctor viewed the video to find a cause, she saw that Oldham had caused the episodes by choking her son.
The doctor called police and had hospital security take the child from Oldham, police said.
According to the probable cause affidavit, the video shows Oldham with her hand around the boy's throat while the boy screams, cries, gasps for breath, coughs, kicks his legs, rears his head back and squirms around.
After choking him and after the boy calmed down, Oldham pressed the call button to alert hospital staff of her son's episode, police said.
Court documents said the video shows that Oldham tried to conceal the choking by putting a blanket over her hand and over her son's body.
According to police, Oldham said her son's health issues began in late June when he had his first episode.
Oldham told police she called 911 during the first episode and her son was taken to Riley Hospital for Children, where he was diagnosed with "breath holding spells" and released.
Oldham said her son was taken to Riley again at the end of July after suffering another episode. She told police he stayed for at least a week to undergo extensive tests, and that he experienced three to four episodes during his stay at the hospital.
The boy experienced another episode in mid-August then three more on Sept. 23, 25 and 27, Oldham told police. The episode on Sept. 27 is the one that led to the boy's admittance at St. Vincent.
Oldham told police that on all but two occasions, she was the only adult in the room or the only adult awake when her son showed symptoms.
Oldham initially denied choking her son and said what was seen on the video at St. Vincent was her trying to perform infant CPR on the boy, police said.
Later in the interview with police, Oldham said that if she had pushed on her son's throat, it hadn't been intentional.
In the same interview, Oldham told police she used her thumb to apply pressure to her son's throat in order to recreate one of his episodes so the doctors could have a better idea of what had been happening to the boy at home.
Oldham told police she was mad at the doctors for not being able to diagnose her son.
Oldham later told police that she was not trying to kill her son, and if that had been her goal, she would have used more pressure.
Oldham then asserted that the only two times she ever choked her son were the two times caught on tape at St. Vincent, police said.
Metro police spokesman Kendale Adams told RTV6 the boy is doing better medically thanks to efforts by investigators and hospital staff.
"After detectives had done their investigation, the baby seemed to be better, seemed to have recovered," he said. "It should be noted that St. Vincent did a really good job in terms of notifying authorities when they saw this possible abuse going on."
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