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Police suspect abuse of baby

A 4-month-old boy from West Fargo was in a Twin Cities hospital Wednesday with a partially crushed windpipe and a collapsed lung, injuries police suspect were caused by abuse.

Authorities are holding 20-year-old Lawrence Vincent St. John Jr. in the Cass County Jail on suspicion of having caused the child's injuries, according to West Fargo police.

"I know the baby is surviving and is stable," Detective Sgt. Greg Warren of the West Fargo Police Department said Wednesday.

Police received a medical call to 1121 14th Ave. E. in West Fargo about 11:40 p.m. Monday.

Officers found a baby boy struggling to breathe, and the child was taken to Innovis Health in Fargo.

The baby was later transported to a hospital in Minneapolis when it was discovered he had a partially crushed windpipe, Warren said.

The boy also had a collapsed lung, according to Warren, who said St. John was arrested Tuesday after police interviewed him and others who were at the residence where the boy was found.

Warren said investigators are waiting to hear from doctors as to whether the child's injuries were caused by a strike or blow, or from squeezing.

"We're contending that because of damage to the lung," Warren said.

"Anytime you have a lung collapse, there is some trauma involved to make that happen," he added.

St. John is likely facing a felony-level charge of child abuse, according to Warren.

As of Wednesday, no charges had been filed with Cass County District Court.

Warren said police believe St. John is the boyfriend of the child's mother and that St. John was staying at the same residence as the boy and his mother.