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Cops: Dad beat infant because he cried

Omar Flores, charged with second-degree assault and endangering

Omar Flores, charged with second-degree assault and endangering the welfare of his son, is brought out of Nassau Police headquarters in Mineola on his way to be arraigned. (Oct. 25, 2011) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Hempstead man who was arrested and charged with beating his 7-month-old son told police in a statement he hit the boy because the infant's nonstop crying was giving him a headache, according to court records.

Omar Flores, 23, of Hoff Court, was arraigned Tuesday in First District Court in Hempstead on charges of felony assault and misdemeanor child endangerment. Bail was set at $5,000 bond or $2,500 cash by Judge Eric Bjorneby. Flores was behind bars early Tuesday night.

In a statement after his arrest, Flores told Nassau investigators the child cried in the apartment for more than an hour Monday. The crying became so intense, Flores said, that he punched the infant twice on the back, twice on the buttocks and twice on the mouth. "I felt very bad about what I did," he told investigators in Spanish, according to the statement. The statement was translated into English and written down by a detective before Flores signed it. Flores tried to treat the child's injuries with baby oil, court papers said.

Police said the infant, who suffered "swelling, contusions and abrasions," was treated at Nassau University Medical Center and released to Flores' wife.

Flores, a disc jockey who worked at night, would watch the boy during the day while his wife, a nail salon employee, worked, said Det. Lt. Raymond Coté, head of the Third Squad detectives.

According to his statement, Flores told police that about a month ago, he put a pillow over the baby's face after the child wouldn't stop "screaming in his crib." The statement showed he also said, "I didn't hold it down for long, only enough to teach him a lesson."

Investigators said a neighbor heard the child's screams and police were called after the latest incident. Coté said the case has been referred to the county's Child Protective Services agency, whose spokeswoman, Karen Garber, declined to comment, citing privacy rules. The boy is the couple's only child, Coté said. Bjorneby also signed a protective order forcing Flores to stay away from the boy.

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