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Father faces assault charges for allegedly striking infant daughter

A 28-year-old father surrendered Friday to face assault-related charges for allegedly striking his 5-month-old daughter in the face while under his care at his Old Lycoming Township apartment in mid-April, township Patrolman Robert Mausteller said.

Initially, Ryan Yost, of 2305 Lycoming Creek Road, twice provided false information about how the infant’s injuries occurred.

The baby was brought to UPMC Williamsport on April 12 with bruises to her face, Mausteller said. At the hospital he interviewed the infant’s mother, who told them that Yost, her former boyfriend and the baby’s father, cared for the child on weekends.

According to Mausteller, the mother said Yost told her that his “dog went towards the door and jumped on the couch where the baby was and that a glass fell on the infant, hitting her in the head and causing a bruise,” the officer wrote in an affidavit.

When police went to Yost’s home to question him about the injury, he told the same story to them, telling them that the baby was struck by a piece of crystal, which he provided to investigators.

However, when Dr. Pat Bruno, a pediatrician and a child abuse expert at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, examined the infant, he determined that the piece of crystal “did not match the injuries on the baby and that the cause of her injuries was from child abuse,” Mausteller said.

During an interview with police and a caseworker with the county’s Children and Youth Department on April 15, Yost was confronted with the fact that his version of what took place was not consistent with what a child abuse expert said happened to the baby.

“I did it,” Yost said, admitting that he allegedly “struck his daughter in the face,” Paulhamus said. Earlier, Yost also told investigators that he had hit the baby when he supposedly tried to hit the dog, but that statement also was incorrect, Mausteller said.

“I just did it. I hit her because I was frustrated,” the officer quoted Yost in the affidavit.

“He was frustrated between being fired, relationship issues and the events that occurred on the day” the baby was injured, the officer added.

“Yost indicated that he had lied initially to police and was scared to admit what he had done due to his criminal record,” Mausteller said.

When the officer asked Yost if the baby had been fussy or irritable at the time, the father replied “No, no she wasn’t. It was me. I took my frustration out on her and the dog. I hit them both.”

Following his arraignment before District Judge William Solomon on felony charges of aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child as well as one misdemeanor count of simple assault, Yost was released on $100,000 bail.

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