Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Mei Yen Lam, age 33, of Burnsville, has been charged* with one felony count of Assault in the First Degree (Great Bodily Harm) in connection with serious injuries inflicted upon a 9-month old boy she was caring for on February 5, 2018. The baby survived, but suffered severe and permanent brain damage as a result of these injuries.
A summary of the allegations contained in the criminal complaint filed today is set forth below:
On February 5, 2018, Burnsville Police Officers and medics were dispatched to a residence in that city on a report of an unconscious infant. The 9-month-old baby boy was transported to Fairview Ridges Hospital by ambulance and then taken to the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital due to the extent of his injuries. Doctors determined that the infant suffered from injuries to his brain and spinal cord. The infant had bleeding on both sides of his brain and two fractured vertebrae. Emergency brain surgery was required to treat these life-threatening injuries. Bruises on both of the infant’s thighs were also found.
A child abuse pediatrician determined that these injuries were non-accidental, and therefore the result of abuse. While this infant will recover from his injuries, he will have permanent impairment.
Mei Yen Lam was the adult at the residence who called 911. She had been caring for the infant at the request of the infant’s mother since January 29, 2018. Lam told police that no one else had been alone with the infant since he had been staying at her residence. She explained that she was trying to feed the infant but he appeared to choke on his food, spit up, and then became limp and stopped breathing. Lam later admitted she threw the infant on the bed "really hard" on multiple days preceding the date of the 911 call. One of the infant’s doctors advised an investigator that the infant’s injuries were consistent with being thrown, but much more force was used than what Lam described.
Following a court appearance today in family court hearing in connection with a child protection petition filed involving Lam’s two natural children, Lam was arrested in connection with this criminal charge filed today.
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaint, which is located online at: Criminal Complaint Search.
Backstrom commented: "Abusive head trauma to infants and young children is a serious problem that often results in permanent brain injury or death. Our sympathy is extended to the baby’s parents and family."
Backstrom thanked the Burnsville Police Department and the medical professionals who provided care to this baby.
Ms. Lam will make her first court appearance in connection with this criminal charge tomorrow morning in Hastings. If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4440.
*Criminal charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant/suspect is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.