Father accused of injuring 2-month-old by shaking, throwing child in Cape Coral

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Austin James Meyers, 27. Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

A father is accused of shaking his baby and then throwing them into the air. He was caught in the act while he was home alone with the child.

Sunday, Cape Coral Police Department arrested Austin James Meyers, 27,  for shaking and throwing his 2-month-old child. He was accused by a witness who says they saw it happen while viewing him and the child through a baby monitor.

The baby is suffering from “bucket handle fractures” in their right leg. That’s an injury to the growing plate at the end of each long bone, such as a tibia or femur. Doctors wrote that injury is consistent with shaking a baby.

“That’s awful,” Tahai Yanis said. “It pains me to hear that that happened really close to me.”

Yanis lives just down the street with her husband and their 2-year-old daughter. They saw the police cars arrive at Meyers’ home over the weekend to arrest him.

“For the safety of the neighborhood, that’s not good,” Yanis said. “It just breaks my heart because I can’t imagine if that happened to my baby. Terrible.”

While the 2-month-old has injuries to their leg, the mental injuries could last forever.

“They don’t necessarily remember it, except, that trauma has an effect on the brain and on the development of the brain,” said Jackie Stephens with Child Advocacy Center.

Florida Department of Children and Families brought in an investigator and got the baby to the emergency room. DCF placed a hold on the baby, so it is now in the care of the hospital until further notice.

Meyers faces charges for aggravated battery, cruelty toward a child (aggravated child abuse) with bond set at $55,000 for those charges combined. He also faces a charge through Lee County Sheriff’s Office for probation violation without a set bond.

Meyers remained in Lee County Jail Monday night.

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