1-month-old’s father left son covered in bruises, Ohio mom says

A Cleveland mom claims her son’s father left him covered in bruises.
Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 11:14 AM EST
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CLEVELAND (WOIO/Gray News) – A night out to ring in the new year for a young mother in Cleveland ended in catastrophe when she said she came home to find her 1-month-old covered in bruises.

An arrest warrant was issued late Tuesday morning for the baby’s father, 24-year-old Jason Napper, for domestic violence, court records state.

Cleveland police issued an arrest warrant for Jason Napper on charges of domestic violence....
Cleveland police issued an arrest warrant for Jason Napper on charges of domestic violence. The mother of his child says the 1-month-old was injured in his care.(Source: Cuyahoga County Jail)

Mackenzie Smith, 21, said the child’s father encouraged her to go out to celebrate and take some time for herself, but now she wishes she hadn’t.

“It just breaks my heart,” Smith told WOIO. “I’m trying not to blame myself because I know I deserve a night out because I’m a good mother to my kids, but I just feel like if I were there this would’ve never happened.”

Smith said she left her son, Milo, with Napper at her home.

“Before I left, I told him, ‘If you need me, call me,’” Smith said

At first, everything seemed fine. She said they were texting throughout the day, but things took a turn at around 10 p.m. when the 24-year-old man called her saying the baby was fussy.

“I’m like, ‘I’ll just come home,’” Smith said. “And as soon as I said that, he’s like, ‘No, just stay there. I got it.’”

Smith said she knew something wasn’t right and rushed home.

“Even in the back of my head, even though they were setting off alarm bells, I still didn’t think I would walk in and see what I saw,” she admitted.

When she finally did see her infant son, she was horrified.

“As soon as I flicked on the light in my room, my son started crying, and I picked him up and saw the bruise on his face, and I almost threw up,” Smith said. “Like I just looked at him, and I snapped on him like, ‘What did you do to him?’”

She said eventually Napper admitted to putting his hands on his son.

“He looked me dead in my eyes and told me that he popped him on the face,” Smith said.

She said he took her phone from her almost immediately so she couldn’t call her parents or the police for help.

Eventually, she said he gave her back her phone, and she texted her parents for help. As soon as they came, she said Napper took off, and they called the police and an ambulance.

Smith said doctors told her that Milo didn’t have any serious injuries, but he’s still covered in bruises.

“I been holding him nonstop since,” she said.

Smith said she hopes Napper will turn himself in.

“He owes his son that,” she said.