A dad has slammed yobs who left his seven-week-old son in hospital after he was hit with a large drink container full of cola and ice which was launched from the top floor of a shopping centre.
Baby Donnie Robinson was fast asleep in his pram in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, in Hartlepool, when the heavy container came hurtling through the air and belted him in his tiny stomach.
He instantly woke up screaming and could not get his breath so his shocked parents Polly Craggs and Peter Robinson rushed to the One Life Centre, in Park Road, before taking him to the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton, where he spent the night being observed and having scans on his body.
Peter, 25, from the Dyke House area, said: “They’re absolute scumbags whoever did this. It was the worst thing I have ever witnessed in my life.
“If it had hit me I wouldn’t have been bothered, but babies are so fragile. I keep thinking what if it had hit him in the head?”
The shocking incident happened as Donnie’s mum and dad pushed him through the shopping centre near the underground car park entrance around 4pm on Monday.
“f it had hit me I wouldn’t have been bothered, but babies are so fragile. I keep thinking what if it had hit him in the head?
Peter said he and Polly, 20, a student, had taken Donnie’s cover off his pram as he slept because it was very warm.
Suddenly out of the blue they just saw the large cola belt their baby, who was born weighing 6lbs, in the stomach.
“It was full of coke and ice so you can imagine the weight of that hitting a tiny baby,” said Peter.
“He just woke up absolutely screaming but he couldn’t get his breath, he was winded.
“My partner picked him out of his pram to see to him and I ran upstairs to chase after them but they had gone.
“A bloke up there said they’d ran away. I was shaking, it was horrible.
“Obviously babies can’t tell you what’s wrong, so we took him to the One Life Centre but they said he was too little – so Polly’s dad took us to North Tees. The baby doctor checked him over and did urine samples and made him stay in overnight for observations.
“The samples they’ve got back are suggesting he might have an infection so we’re just waiting for more tests and for scans to be done.
“Hopefully, nothing is the matter with him.”
The concerned new dad added: “The carton of coke was nearly as big as him. He was only 6lb born so he is a tiny baby. We just can’t believe that people would be so stupid.
“We just want anyone who saw anything to ring the police because we want these people caught.”
A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police confirmed that the incident had been reported to them and officers were waiting to speak to the couple once Donnie was released from hospital.
Mark Rycraft, shopping centre manager, said: “We are working with the police to assist wherever we can in their investigation. Anti-social behaviour of any kind is not tolerated at the centre. Our thoughts are with the baby and his parents and we wish him a speedy recovery.”
Witnesses should contact police on 101.