Father accused of biting baby's nose appears in court

In Fairfield the teenage father accused of biting off his son's nose appeared in court and said he wanted to hire his own attorney.
March 17, 2014 7:59:32 PM PDT
On Monday in Fairfield the father, accused of biting off his son's nose because the baby would not stop crying, appeared in court. That father is getting support from his family, but the public is horrified by what he's accused of.

The little boy is being treated at Children's Hospital Oakland and he has a long road ahead of him with skin graphs and procedures. He is in the custody of Child Protective Services.

"The Joshua I know is fun loving, doing backflips, run, play basketball, football... never knew he would do anything like that. I don't think he did that," said "Keith", a family friend.

However, Fairfield police say 18-year-old Joshua Cooper confessed to the crime, telling them he bit off part of his month old son Ta'Jon's nose, frustrated by his crying.

The 16-year-old mother, Angelika Riggins, told ABC7 News this weekend there were no previous signs of violence.

"I would not have brought a child into this world or stayed with this man while being pregnant if I knew what he was capable of," said Riggins.

Monday, a superior court judge listed the charges against Cooper, including felony aggravated mayhem and child cruelty.

The baby's mother told us her son is also suffering from a skull fracture and brain hemorrhage. She also said days before his nose was injured, doctors had noticed bruises and swelling and called Child Protective Services. Riggins says the family life she wanted is now gone

"Even though I want him back, but I can't. It will never be the same," said Riggins.

In court Cooper told the judge he is working, making $700 a month and wants to hire his own attorney. Bail was set at $750,000.

Outside the court, the family of the teenage dad declined to speak.

"My love goes out to the family and the baby. The baby first," said Keith.


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