Dad charged with assaulting infant son in Struthers

By Peter H. Milliken


The Mahoning County grand jury has indicted Robert A. Purfey, 32, of Indianola Avenue, on two counts each of felonious assault and child endangering and one count of tampering with evidence.

All of the charges pertain to serious injuries to Purfey’s 8-week-old son, who was taken July 5 to Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley, where he was in critical condition and on life support.

After Purfey called 911, Struthers firefighters responded to a Park Avenue residence, finding the infant in respiratory distress with a baby wipe obstructing his airway, Struthers police said.

Emergency personnel collected as evidence scissors and a bath towel, both bloodstained; and the evidence-tampering charge alleges Purfey concealed those items to impede the investigation.

Police said Purfey’s initial statement at the hospital about what happened to the baby was “not physically possible.” Purfey remains jailed under $150,000 bond.

Previously, Purfey has faced charges of drug and drug-paraphernalia possession and driving under suspension.

Others indicted Thursday were:

Robert Waring, 42, of Sanderson Avenue, Campbell, theft.

Thomas Tubbs, 48, of Sunshine Avenue, felonious assault.

Kevin A. Sabo, 19, of Vestal Road, and Charles E. Donald, 22, of Devitt Avenue, Campbell, burglary.

Michael F. Seidita, 22, of Ferndale Avenue, Youngstown, or West Wood Street, Lowellville, three counts of receiving stolen property and two counts of forgery.

Brittaney Sheppard, 28, of Struthers-Liberty Road, Campbell, two counts of forgery.

Portia Kelly, 36, of McGuffey Road, assault.

Whitney Mercer, 28, of West Virginia Avenue, Sebring, and Shawn Davner, 30, of Spiedel Road, East Palestine, burglary.

Connie Reed, 24, of East Maryland Avenue, Sebring, illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs and aggravated drug possession.

Shaneeh Battles, 41, of East Earle Avenue, heroin possession.

Reuben Chappell, 31, of Pennsylvania Avenue, domestic violence and disrupting public services.

Chad Little, 28, of North Osborne Avenue, cocaine and heroin possession with forfeiture specifications.

Nicole M. DeNicholas, 27, of Salt Springs Road, McDonald, or Norquest Boulevard, Austintown, theft.

Nicole Rae Raffery, 38, of Comstock Street NW, Warren, misdemeanor theft.

Stephen J. Sodomora, 57, of Oakcrest Drive, Austintown, aggravated arson.

Jamar Lightning, 37, of Stewart Avenue, cocaine possession with a forfeiture specification and six counts of illegal gun possession.

Tyreese Perry, 19, of Neilson Avenue, cocaine and heroin possession with forfeiture specifications and improperly handling a gun in a motor vehicle.

David M. Oliver, 20, of North Osborne Avenue or Erie Street, burglary.

Tia Barnette, 22, of Norwood Avenue, robbery.

Duane Igo, 53, of West Florida Avenue, Sebring, assault, obstructing official business and two counts of harassment with a bodily substance.

Richard Kellner, 31, of Woodbine Avenue, heroin possession.

Derrick Williams, 23, of Hilton Avenue, marijuana trafficking with a forfeiture specification.

Terrill Blackshear, 27, of South Hazelwood Avenue, cocaine possession with a forfeiture specification.

Allante Donaldson, 21, of West Ravenwood Avenue or East Florida Avenue, heroin possession and illegal conveyance of drugs of abuse onto the grounds of a governmental facility.

Ramont Jones, 19, of Rush Boulevard or Beechwood Place, cocaine possession with a forfeiture specification and tampering with evidence.

David Scott, 57, of East Warren Avenue, cocaine possession and two counts of tampering with evidence.

Paula Summerville, 43, of McClure Avenue, cocaine and heroin possession.

Michael Thompson, 38, of Laurel Street, heroin possession.

John T. Payne Jr., 42, of Waldo Street, New Castle, Pa., illegal gun possession and improperly handling a gun in a motor vehicle.

David Morales. 51, of Market Street, Boardman, 10 counts each of rape and sexual battery against a 13-year-old.

Jesse Cooper, 39, of Mahoning County jail, assault.

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