Cleveland mom claims 1-month-old son’s father left him covered in bruises

Published: Jan. 2, 2023 at 11:59 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A night out for New Year’s Eve for a young Cleveland mother ended in catastrophe when she came home to find her 1-month-old son covered in bruises.

Mackenzie Smith, 21, said her child’s father encouraged her to go out for New Year’s Eve and take some time off, but now she’d do anything to have stayed home instead.

Cleveland police issued an arrest warrant late Tuesday morning for Jason Napper, 24, on charges of domestic violence, court records show.

Cleveland police issued an arrest warrant for Jason Napper on charges of domestic violence. The...
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)

“It just breaks my heart that I don’t know what my baby was going through that I couldn’t hear him screaming,” Smith said. “I couldn’t hear him crying and he really was probably crying because he probably missed me and I’m trying not to blame myself for it, but I, I’m trying not to blame myself cause I know I still deserve a night out because I’m a good mother to my kids but I just feel like if I was there this would’ve never happened but it still don’t give him the right to put his hands on a child the way he did.”

Smith said she left her son, Milo, with Napper at her home in Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood.

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 called her.

“Before I left, I told him if you need me call me,” the mom said. “I’m like I’ll just come home and as soon as I said that he’s like no just stay there I got it. He was just fussy; he was crying because he was hungry. I’m like no I’m coming home now, and he just kept telling me not to.”

The mother 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.

“Soon as I flicked on the light in my room my son started crying and I picked him up and I seen the bruise on his face, and I almost threw up,” the mother 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,” she said.

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

“I’m just pleading with him to give me my phone back and after like the fifth or sixth time I did he like got mad and kind of grabbed me like this and just shoved me into the counter in my kitchen and like hit my arm and hit the side of my head and stuff,” she said.

The Cleveland mom said when she realized what had happened, she wasn’t only heartbroken, but also furious.

“I honestly wanted to kill him,” she admitted. “I don’t know if I can say that on tv but I honestly wanted to kill him, but I was fighting a lot of thoughts in my head like if I do kill him I can’t be here for my kids but it was a lot of anger.”

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

Milo’s mom said he went to the hospital and was checked out and didn’t have any serious injuries, but he is still covered in bruises.

“I been holding him I’d say nonstop since,” she said. “The only time I put him down is when I gotta go to the bathroom or I’m tending to my other kids.”

Smith is hoping Napper will do the right thing.

“Just to simply turn himself in,” the mom said. “He owes his son that.”

Cleveland police are searching for the suspect, the baby’s father, who is wanted for domestic...
Cleveland police are searching for the suspect, the baby’s father, who is wanted for domestic violence.(Mackenzie Smith)