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Quitman Thomas Triplett-Hudson

Quitman Thomas Triplett-Hudson

GARY — A man accused of throwing and choking his 7-month-old son at a gas station had his first court hearing Wednesday.

Quitman Thomas Triplett-Hudson, 32, of Gary, heard the charges against him in Superior Court of Lake County, centering around his son, who is reported to be in critical condition at Comer Children's Hospital in Chicago.

Triplett-Hudson allegedly threw the baby 10 feet into the air “like a rag doll,” witnesses said, letting the child's head hit the ground at a gas station. The 7-month-old is on a ventilator with multiple brain and skull injuries.

The father was issued a $20,000 cash bond, said Bradley Carter, spokesman for the Lake County prosecutor's office, and he currently remains in jail.

It also was determined that Triplett-Hudson cannot afford his own legal representative, so a public defender will be appointed, Carter said.

Triplett-Hudson was charged with attempted murder, neglect of a dependent resulting in serious injury, two counts of domestic battery on a person younger than 14 and two counts of resisting law enforcement, according to court documents.

His formal appearance is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Monday in Lake Superior Court.

Police responded to a fight March 21 at a Speedway gas station at 750 S. Lake St., the court records state. Arriving on scene, police saw Triplett-Hudson, who had a swollen eye, leaving the gas station as a man followed him, yelling for police to arrest him.

A witness told police that as he was walking through the Speedway parking lot, he saw Triplett-Hudson get out of his car and sit the 7-month-old in a puddle of muddy water.

Next Triplett-Hudson allegedly picked up the baby, tossed him in the air, took a few steps forward and let the infant hit the parking lot ground, the witness told police.

Then the man saw Triplett-Hudson pick up the baby and allegedly try to choke the baby with one arm. The man struck Triplett-Hudson in the face to stop him from choking the baby. The first strike appeared to not faze Triplett-Hudson, the witness said, and the witness struck him multiple times until Triplett-Hudson stopped choking the infant, according to court records.

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As witnesses told the officer what they saw, Triplett-Hudson allegedly attempted to leave; however the officer grabbed Triplett-Hudson's shirt and told him he was under arrest. Triplett-Hudson then attempted to pull away and a struggle began as the officer tried to handcuff him.

Witnesses helped the officer subdue Triplett-Hudson. He was taken to the ground and his left hand was handcuffed. Triplett-Hudson allegedly refused to remove his right arm from under his body to be handcuffed and the officer used a Taser on Triplett-Hudson to take him into custody, police said.

The baby's mother told police she was at work while her son was in Triplett-Hudson's care. The mother said she knew of Triplett-Hudson's drug use, alleging he smokes marijuana dipped in embalming fluid, police said.

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She said she spoke with Triplett-Hudson at 12:45 p.m. the day of the incident and thought he was sober, court documents state.

The mother said she was shocked and that Triplett-Hudson had never hurt the child before.

During the incident, a witness said there was a man in the passenger side of Triplett-Hudson's car “smoking something,” and that Triplett-Hudson seemed “too strong” and “amped up.”

Police allegedly found a folded piece of aluminum foil and a dark substance while searching the car Triplett-Hudson was driving, court reports said.

The baby was transported by helicopter to Comer Children's Hospital in Chicago, where doctors found he had multiple skull fractures, multiple brain injuries, hematoma and brain swelling, the court document stated.

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Night Crime/Breaking News Reporter

Anna Ortiz is the breaking news/crime reporter for The Times, covering crime, politics, courts, investigative news and more. She is a Region native and graduate of Ball State University with a major in journalism and minor in anthropology.