Luke P. Heim

Luke P. Heim is accused of breaking his infant daughter’s leg and causing a brain bleed and other serious injuries.

A Dubuque man is accused of breaking his infant daughter’s leg and causing a brain bleed and other serious injuries.

Luke P. Heim, 19, of 895 Kirkwood St., was arrested at 5:20 p.m. Saturday at Dubuque Law Enforcement Center on warrants charging child endangerment with serious injury and violation of a no-contact order.

Court documents made available today state that the 2-month-old girl suffered a fractured femur, bleeding in the brain, blood spots in both eyes and bruising to the neck and chest area.


Her mother, Gabriella M. Fondell, 19, of 2256 White St., reported that she dropped off the infant and her 1-year-old sister at Heim's residence at about 1 p.m. Friday, so they could spend the night. When Heim picked up Fondell on Saturday with the girls, Fondell noticed that the 2-month-old "was having difficulty breathing and (her) eyes were red."

Fondell told Heim to drive to MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center, where doctors started treating the child and staff called the police. The child later was airlifted to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

Investigators reported that Heim told them that he was upset with Fondell while watching the girls.  

Heim told authorities that while he was upset back at his residence, he placed the infant in “her bassinet, striking her head on the edge."

"He didn't think it was that hard," documents state.

"Heim also admitted to striking (the infant's) head off of a door jamb in the kitchen as he was spinning around forcefully as he was upset with Fondell," he allegedly told investigators.

The documents later stated, "Heim admitted as he was holding (the infant) and trying to keep her from crying, he was bouncing her and stated, a couple of times, (the infant's) head fell back and forward, describing the motion as whiplash, like when rear-ended from a car."

"Heim admitted to pulling (the infant) from a car seat where her leg got caught on a strap and he continued to pull her out and believes that is how (the infant) had the injury to her leg."

Finally, Heim told investigators that while he was holding the girl, she started to slip from his grasp and he grabbed her "body and chest tightly to keep her from falling."

The no-contact-order charge stems from Heim having contact with Fondell on Saturday at a friend's house. The order was put in place after Heim assaulted Fondell in April. 

Heim’s next court appearance is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24, at Dubuque County Courthouse.

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