Daniel Scott Rohloff

Daniel Scott Rohloff

UPPER MERION — An Upper Merion man who allegedly beat his infant son, causing severe injuries including rib fractures and lacerations to his liver, has been charged with attempted homicide and is awaiting a preliminary hearing.

Daniel Scott Rohloff, 33, of the 300 block of Jefferson Street in the Bridgeport section of Upper Merion, was arraigned before District Court Judge Maureen C. Coggins on charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child and recklessly endangering another person in connection with the July 26 alleged beating of his 2-month-old son, Landon.

Rohloff remains in the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in lieu of $1 million cash bail to await an Aug. 9 preliminary hearing on the charges before District Court Judge William Maruszczak.

The charges were announced on Thursday by Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and Upper Merion Police Chief Thomas Nolan.

“Baby Landon was cruelly and severely injured at the hands of this defendant, who as his father had a duty to protect him,” Steele said. “We will seek to hold him responsible for his actions.”

An investigation began on July 27 when detectives responded to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for a report of a 2-month-old boy suffering from “inflicted” wounds, according to a criminal complaint filed by county Detective Heather Long and Upper Merion Detective Michael Davies.

Doctors reported baby Landon had been brought to the hospital by his parents at 6:34 a.m. July 27. Upon examination, doctors determined that the baby “had injuries to multiple organ systems” including, rib fractures, both new and healing, bilateral subdural hemorrhages, bruising and lacerations to his liver, and bruising on multiple areas of his body, according to the criminal complaint.

The child, who required life-saving interventions such as intubation/mechanical ventilation and critical care, was admitted to the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit and is still undergoing additional medical evaluation, court papers indicated.

A physician who evaluated Landon said the injuries to multiple organ systems are indicative of non-accidental trauma and that the medical findings were consistent with trauma occurring at more than one point in time, according to court documents.

During the investigation, detectives spoke with a Montgomery County Office of Children and Youth caseworker assigned to Landon and determined that social workers had become involved with the family on May 26 “after being notified of substance use and mental health concerns in regard to Daniel Rohloff,” according to the arrest affidavit.

“Rohloff was exhibiting strange and unusual behavior while (the child’s mother) was in the maternity ward giving birth to their child…His behavior required the hospital to summon the police and had Rohloff removed from the premises,” detectives alleged in the criminal complaint.

Between June 3 and June 15, Rohloff allegedly resisted the Office of Children and Youth’s attempts to implement a safety plan to protect Landon, according to court papers. Social workers also attempted multiple times to obtain a drug screen from Rohloff but were unsuccessful, detectives alleged.

Social workers made multiple attempts to limit Rohloff’s ability to have unsupervised contact with the baby but Rohloff allegedly “indicated he did not believe he needed to be supervised,” according to court documents.

When detectives interviewed the child’s mother, she revealed that she and Rohloff had a “heated argument” about 10 p.m. July 26 during which Rohloff allegedly threw a beer bottle at her and broke other items in their bedroom. During the argument, Rohloff allegedly “ripped” the child from his mother “in an aggressive manner by Landon’s arms,” according to court papers.

The child’s mother left the residence to get away from Rohloff and drove to a local park and sat in her car until she received a text message around midnight from Rohloff stating the baby was having a seizure, according to the arrest affidavit. The child’s mother immediately returned home and found Landon swaddled and sleeping on a cushion in the living room and Rohloff seated on a couch and she told detectives Landon appeared to be sleeping and exhibiting no signs of a seizure, according to court papers.

Later on the morning of July 27, Rohloff, according to court papers, allegedly yelled through an intercom of a home security system because Landon was experiencing another seizure. The child’s mother went downstairs and found Rohloff alone with Landon and she described the baby as appearing “limp” and “pale in color,” and immediately recognized something was wrong and had Rohloff drive her to the Philadelphia hospital, according to the arrest affidavit.

During the investigation, detectives learned there were numerous surveillance cameras inside the residence.

A review of the video surveillance footage from inside the home showed that at 7:22 p.m. July 26, Rohloff entered a bedroom carrying Landon, who was quiet and content. Rohloff allegedly can be seen covering the camera with a towel, and then faint gurgling sounds made by Landon are audible until the baby “then begins intensely screaming,” according to the criminal complaint.

Landon can be heard alternating between periods of crying and silence before Rohloff uncovered the camera and departed the room holding Landon, detectives alleged.

At 10:17 p.m., Rohloff, carrying Landon, entered the bedroom again, closed the bedroom door and again covered the camera, detectives alleged.

“Within 11 seconds of the camera being covered, Landon begins intensely crying. Landon cries like this for 8 seconds and then goes silent,” detectives wrote in the arrest affidavit.

Six seconds later, Landon begins to intensely cry again until Rohloff exits the room and goes downstairs carrying the baby.

“The camera located in the first floor living room captures Rohloff walking down the stairs carrying Landon. Landon is making a loud, screeching, unusual sounding cry,” detectives alleged.

A further review of surveillance footage found that between the hours of 10:17 p.m. and 10:38 p.m., Rohloff and the baby’s mother can be heard arguing loudly and the baby’s mother yelling for Rohloff to give her the baby and repeatedly asking him to leave the residence before she threatens to call police, court papers indicate. The woman also threatened to obtain a protection from abuse order and during this time “objects can be heard being broken in the background,” detectives alleged.

When detectives interviewed Rohloff on July 27 he allegedly provided a timeline of events that “was sporadic and vague and as the interview progressed, detectives noted numerous inconsistencies and efforts by Rohloff to minimize events,” according to the arrest affidavit.

When Rohloff was asked why he covered the surveillance camera in the bedroom, he allegedly could not provide an explanation as to why the cloth was placed over the camera at that time, detectives said.

Assistant District Attorney Brianna Ringwood will prosecute the case. It could not be determined if Rohloff had obtained a lawyer as of Thursday.

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