Teen father accused of trying to smother baby

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Chattanooga police have charged a 19-year-old father with trying to kill his infant son.

Police arrested Dakota Eldridge Thursday night after he came to Erlanger Hospital with his 12-week-old baby, according to a news release from the police.

The baby had been taken to Erlanger by ambulance from Rhea County and was suffering from multiple ailments.

Hospital staff noticed the baby's heart rate dropped drastically several times when Eldridge was with him.

A hospital worker then saw Eldridge attempting to smother the baby and called police.

Police say Eldridge told them he had pinched the baby's nose and covered his mouth several times to stop his breathing.

Eldridge has been charged with attempted first degree murder and aggravated child abuse.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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