Father admits to squeezing, throwing infant son, police say

Posted May 08, 2012, at 7:06 p.m.
Last modified May 08, 2012, at 8:53 p.m.

ARUNDEL, Maine — A man told police he squeezed his 2½-month-old son’s head in frustration before throwing him hard into a living room chair, causing severe brain bleeding that led to the infant’s death, according to a police affidavit released Tuesday.

Ethan Henderson died early Tuesday at a Portland hospital after being taken off life support.

His father, 23-year-old Gordon Collins-Faunce of Arundel, has been charged with aggravated assault. The Maine attorney general’s office said the death now is considered a homicide and that charges will be upgraded in the next day or two.

Collins-Faunce entered no plea during a court appearance Monday. He’s being held on $100,000 bail.

Collins-Faunce lived in an Arundel mobile home with his 23-year-old fiancee, Christina Henderson; their twin sons; Henderson’s 3-year-old daughter from a previous relationship; and Collins-Faunce’s stepmother.

After police were called to the home on Saturday morning, Ethan was taken to Maine Medical Center, where doctors said he was suffering from severe bleeding around the brain.

Collins-Faunce told police he became frustrated by the boy’s crying, held him suspended by his head and threw him into a living room chair.

“On a scale of 1-10, he estimated his force to be about 8 or 9,” the affidavit reads. “He said he saw [Ethan's] head snap back when he landed in the chair.”

Collins-Faunce told investigators he often felt overwhelmed having to care for the children, especially when he had forgotten to take his medication for post-traumatic stress disorder.

He said he accidentally broke his son’s arm in a fit of anger and frustration when he was 4 weeks old.

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