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South Side man held on $150,000 bail on charge he hit infant girl in head with concrete

A South Side man was ordered held in lieu of $150,000 bail Friday for allegedly throwing a concrete block into a West Englewood apartment, severely injuring a 7-month-old girl.

The infant, who was on a bed at the time of the May 3 incident, was hit on the head and suffered skull fractures, bleeding in the brain and head trauma, Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said.

The child has since been released from the hospital, Scaduto said at the bond hearing for Jeremy O’Neal.

Because of the victim’s age, it’s unclear how her injuries will affect her future development, Scaduto said.

O’Neal, however, has been charged with aggravated battery to a child under 13 causing permanent disability.

O’Neal angrily threw the concrete when the people inside the apartment in the 1400 block of West 73rd Place told him a woman he was looking for wasn’t there, Scaduto said.

O’Neal’s attorney said his 25-year-old client was not aiming for the child that night.

“While what happened was a tragedy, there is no evidence that he tried to intentionally hurt anyone,” Nicholas Giordano said.

Giordano said some members of the girl’s family have posted threatening messages on Facebook along with the address of a relative of O’Neal’s where he often stays and young children reside. “A baby for a baby,” one wrote, according to O’Neal’s family.

But it was O’Neal’s harassment that led to the girl’s serious injuries, prosecutors said.

O’Neal first came to the apartment and pounded on the front door, asking for “Diana Black,” Scaduto said.

A resident opened the door and told him that no one by that name was there. But O’Neil persisted and continued banging on the door, telling those inside: “You will all pay,” Scaduto said.

O’Neal eventually left and drove around the block before returning with the piece of concrete, which he allegedly hurled at the apartment.

The concrete shattered through a window and then struck the baby, Scaduto said.

Scaduto did not know if anyone named Diana Black lived in the apartment. Black is a friend of O’Neal’s, his attorney said after court.

Two days before the incident, O’Neal was released on his own recognizance in a criminal trespass case, Scaduto said.

He has two weapons and drug-related convictions.

O’Neal, of the 9500 block of South Houston, currently works at a temp agency packing boxes, Giordano said.

Contributing: Sam Charles