Joshua L. Cooper appears in Solano Superior Court in Fairfield, March 17, 2014, for his arraignment. Cooper was arrested March 13, 2014, on allegations of child cruelty and aggravated mayhem after allegedly biting off one-third of his baby son's nose after the child wouldn't stop crying. (Adam Smith/Daily Republic)


Man accused of biting off part of son’s nose pleads not guilty

By From page A3 | March 19, 2014

FAIRFIELD — An 18-year-old father accused of biting off part of his infant son’s nose last week pleaded not guilty Monday to felony charges of child abuse and aggravated mayhem.

After entering his pleas, Joshua L. Cooper had his bail set at $750,000.

The courtroom was crowded with reporters and photographers from local media outlets, who swarmed Cooper’s family members as they left the courthouse after the arraignment.

Cooper faces a possible life sentence in prison if convicted of the mayhem charge, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Terry Ray.

Fairfield police arrested Cooper Thursday morning at an Alaska Avenue apartment after police dispatchers received a frantic call from a woman at the apartment saying her baby was bleeding from the nose.

Police discovered one-third of the infant’s nose had been bitten off. Police were told Cooper had bitten off his son’s nose in response to the boy’s crying.

The 1-month-old baby boy was taken to nearby NorthBay Medical Center where doctors discovered the baby had suffered a severe skull fracture and bleeding from his brain. The child was then taken to Children’s Hospital in Oakland where he was considered stable.

Cooper was ordered to return to court April 1 for a probable cause hearing.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 59 comments

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  • Danny BuntinMarch 17, 2014 - 11:27 pm

    Kids having kids. This guy most likely grew up with zero discipline being directed his way. The culture of do not disrespect me strikes again.

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  • Skeptic ScroogeMarch 18, 2014 - 12:27 am

    His court date is set for APRIL FOOLS DAY!!! Ha ha ha what a fool!!

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  • Tax PayerMarch 18, 2014 - 6:18 am

    Yep, make sense to me. He pleads not guilty and then cries a little in the court room. Scrum bag deserves more than life. I would vote to cut off half of his nose and leave him that way for the rest of his life in prison.

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  • Tax PayerMarch 18, 2014 - 6:21 am

    His upbringing will be brought into this case. Blame his mommy and babys daddy for his behavior. Oh yeah, he is 18 so he is now an adult. That excuse should not apply but I guarantee the defense attorney will bring it up so that the court room can all get the tissues out.

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  • EMSgirl64March 18, 2014 - 7:15 am

    Exactly! He'll be made out to be a victim of his own upbringing. No excuse! He is disgusting!

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  • SquishMarch 21, 2014 - 9:01 am

    No matter what, I stand by Josh and I support him. He needs help, not life in prison. No matter what you all think, that boy loved his baby.

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  • PornacMarch 18, 2014 - 7:07 am

    God will give him a chance to repent for his choice of action.

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  • BMarch 18, 2014 - 7:40 am

    I look forward to seeing karma come his way in prison. What a disgusting POS. They really should just take people like this out back and put them down like a rabid dog.

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  • CD BrooksMarch 18, 2014 - 8:51 am

    Noe, "go for a long time?" That is not what they want. This kid IS the boogieman, he should be made an example of so the next one thinks twice.

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  • Russell V KinzMarch 18, 2014 - 9:14 am

    Right on, CD

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  • Noe SezmisengMarch 18, 2014 - 10:24 am

    Countless "examples" have been made, and one doesn't think once when it comes to acts like this. It's not like he woke up in the morning and thought, "gee, today will be the day I will bite-off my son's nose."

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  • BMarch 18, 2014 - 11:21 am

    You know whats in his mind? Interesting. Could you toss me the next winning lotto numbers as well?

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  • Noe S.March 18, 2014 - 12:16 pm

    Hm. If he thought about biting-off his son's nose ahead of time, then it looks like he has a good chance of getting off for reasons of mental illness. I guess that your wanting to "take him out back and shoot him" plan will lead you to much disappointment.

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  • DCTFSMarch 18, 2014 - 10:55 pm

    No , no one knows what he was thinking at the time , but what I do know is that no one in their right mind , with common sense , who doesn't have a serious mental imparement , isn't possesed , or isn't on some drug that impares your ability , beyond your control , to reason & process your actions , would do something like bite a 1 mont old's nose off . Therefore , one of those things has to be the case . Also, all of you people here saying these extra things that should be added to his sentence are stooping to the exact same level of evil & crazy by thinking up these things . Think about it , if you had done something just as crazy , would you stop and take the lime out of your day to think up & wish the things you're suggesting be done to him on yourself ? Think about that before you speak because that's just as evil as what he did . You're all not God , the judge, nor the jury , so dont pass judgement on someone you don know , because that is definately not in your job description and is definately above your pay grade . And a life sentence in prison , don't you think that's bad enough ? Prisoners don't respect / apreciate child abusers so he's already gonna have enough trouble waiting for him in prison , which is probably worse than what some of you are adding on and suggesting . Stop trying to add extra on an already life long sentence into the hell hole of an establishment , that he is mostlikey going into anyway, called prison , And get on with your life .

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  • BMarch 18, 2014 - 9:31 am

    Please tell me how he isnt the boogieman. Let me guess, it was an accident right? He accidently bit the baby's nose off and fractured his skull? Or was the baby posing some threat and it was self-defense? Anyone ignorant enough to defend this monster should be locked up with him. Watch out for your nose.

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  • Johnnie Lee BaileyMarch 18, 2014 - 9:42 am

    Just looking at the hate dripping off the tongues of all the wanna be executioners, the defense is already 'copy and pasting' these comments into his 'Change of Venue' motion. gonna be hard to select a jury...

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  • BMarch 18, 2014 - 9:54 am

    You people defending this monster should be locked up with him. Watch out for your nose.

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  • Noe S.March 18, 2014 - 10:28 am

    Haven't seen anyone defending 'him'. What I have seen is a lot of people calling for a sentence before trial. One soapbox vs. another, I suppose.

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  • BMarch 18, 2014 - 11:20 am

    Oh ok. Lets hear the excuses then. The baby was asking for it right? It was self-defense? It was an accident? He accidently bit the baby's nose off and fractured his skull? Ya, Im sure this was all just a big misunderstanding, right?

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  • Noe S.March 18, 2014 - 12:23 pm

    You have gotten yourself all riled-up to the point where you are not making any sense. You are not Jury material. As a matter of fact, you are acting like the kind of person who would get this guy off due to a mistrial due to juror misconduct. Also, my point went right by you. This is still the USA, where we have certain rights. You do not get to have your "out back" execution. But if you really want me to stoke your fire, then here is my excuse you are looking for (DR Law and Order episode 1). The mother of the child is mentally unstable. It turns out that she caused the injuries, and the father took the blame for whatever reason. Besides him being guilty of somehing -- in this case -- he did not cause the injuries to the kid. Of course this is unlikely, but again, you do not get your execution. What if the father is mentally unstable? Yet again, you do not get your execution. It's simple if you know what the US Constition is all about.

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  • BMarch 18, 2014 - 12:26 pm

    Are you honestly so dense that you think I expect them to give him the Old Yeller treatment? Get a grip. Forgive me for not taking kindly to people who do these sort of things to other people, let alone their own infant child. Go hug a tree.

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  • Noe S.March 18, 2014 - 12:55 pm

    B - there is nothing to forgive. Don't worry about it. Odds are you wouldn't execute someone. And, yes, I will go hug a tree. For you, I will make it a Saguaro.

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  • CD BrooksMarch 18, 2014 - 12:39 pm

    Noe, don't bring the Constitution into this. There are many people here that believe it only protects white heterose*ual men of faith and preferably gun owners. You are correct there could be some sort of cover-up. He could also be mentally incompetent. People here are basing their opinions on lack of information to support those theories and/or proving their accuracy.

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  • Noe S.March 18, 2014 - 12:57 pm

    CD - When all is said and done, I just hope the kid gets whatever counciling is needed, and that Justice be Done (tm)

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  • cbMarch 19, 2014 - 12:42 pm

    We live in the United States where EVERYBODY is entitled to a defense. The job of defense attorneys is not to get their client off; their job is to be sure that whatever can be done legally is done and to make sure that the defendant is afforded all of his/her constitutional rights so that when there is a conviction, we can feel assured that it is justified and that justice has been served.

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  • rhcMarch 18, 2014 - 10:12 am


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  • MeshiaMarch 18, 2014 - 11:47 am

    This is truly a sad situation. Think about what this baby's life is going to be like now. having a disagreement that he didn't have when he was born. I pray for the the families in this case and hope the father takes responsibility and asks for forgiveness.

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  • MeshiaMarch 18, 2014 - 11:49 am

    I meant disfigurement

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  • treMarch 18, 2014 - 11:52 am

    Would really like to know if they are drug testing these people once arrested!!!

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  • l. torresMarch 18, 2014 - 12:41 pm

    Let me guess!!! This young man is a product of the "foster care system" and he just added another generation to this families' participants!! Give the little victim a chance at a real life and terminate both of the parents' parental rights.. We as taxpayers will support the child no matter what because his injures will probably have life long effects.. Do you think the Dad might have anger issues perhaps?? Two broken babies having babies to break for taxpayers to support---what a concept only in America!!

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  • JBDragonMarch 18, 2014 - 12:58 pm

    I bet this nose biter didn't have a father growing up. Mom wore then likely on welfare. Maybe he heard what Mike Tyson did with a ear? He has already said he did it, he's guilty, doesn't matter if in court he says not guilty, just about anyone and everyone says that. What he did to his baby is inexcusable. It's another case of kids having kids and poor exampe of how to live as a adult. That baby couldn't have done a single thing to warrent anything done to him/her. Some people do snap from lack or sleep from a baby that just won't stop crying. I don't think he should get life unless the baby is brain damaged, but a few years in jail and some real help so when he is once again let out and breeding which you know will happen, the next kid he has will maybe be better treated. If there's ever a next time, throw the book at him. Life!

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  • JBMarch 18, 2014 - 1:38 pm

    Hey Chinese let him live with you when he gets out in three months.

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  • BMarch 18, 2014 - 2:13 pm

    First, you should stay in or go back to school. Second, what you believe and what I believe are not the same. If you think someone who attacks an infant should get a comfy life in prison thats your right. I think they are disgusting and should swing from a rope.

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  • CD BrooksMarch 18, 2014 - 2:51 pm

    Chinese, love the way you mix god and filth. Nice. NEXT!

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  • ENEDINA GARCIAMarch 18, 2014 - 4:49 pm


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  • RalphMarch 18, 2014 - 5:03 pm

    It's hard to cover up this crime. Be happy that its over with, and this sicko can sober up, realize whats he's done

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  • LisaMarch 18, 2014 - 6:21 pm

    I just want to know how he thought his baby's blood tasted. No defense!!! BABIES having babies!

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  • Rich GiddensMarch 18, 2014 - 8:16 pm

    Yet another horrific crime involving Government's favorite people----the welfare underclass that Government itself created and endlessly promoted! Our memories are short---do you remember the welfare momma who let her babies get killed in that apartment fire that's ironically next to the County Government Center? Remember how the old Marine Judge Foor let her go and she immediately attacked a man with a knife? Every week brings a new horrible typically California macabre case that sickens everybody with disgust. This as we look at our own precious loved kids and think ''how could anybody do something like that?''. Want it to stop? Turn off the welfare, food stamps along with the Section 8 housing and Obama phones! Don't pay for kids to have kids out-of-wedlock! But you people refuse to do that. Instead, you love Barack, Jerry, Dianne, Lois, all the way down to the jerks in city hall.

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  • mescMarch 18, 2014 - 8:44 pm

    CPS took the baby and has custody of him. The mother created a go-fund-me page and is asking for money. Here is part of it, "Please help donate to my baby boy." If I were to donate, I'd give to the state as the state took custody away from both parents.

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  • GemmaMarch 18, 2014 - 9:24 pm

    Of course the mom started a GoFundMePage. That's what ghetto people do. NOT saying everyone who has a GFM is ghetto. I'm just saying it's ghetto to say you don't have insurance and ask for donations, when you really more than likely have Medi-Cal! She took a page out of the McMath/Winkfield book of begging. If a child can be discharged from a hospital with a death certificate,while the mom rakes in 60k on GoFundMe, why wouldn't this loser?

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  • tMarch 18, 2014 - 11:14 pm

    While this is sad, yall dont know what was going on in this situation! Only God can judge!

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  • Tax PayerMarch 19, 2014 - 5:22 am

    Guess what? We will be paying for the little guy all the way up to age 18. Unless we have some idiot give him back to mamma. Then she will apply for the benefits for the two of them. The good old American way today!

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  • anonymousMarch 18, 2014 - 9:03 pm

    I went to school with Josh from elementary up. He wasn't always that way. This is what happens in a bad neighborhood when it's easy for kids to get ahold of illegal substances.

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  • Tax PayerMarch 19, 2014 - 5:15 am

    So now here they come out of saying it was not his fault. It must have been the drugs or society. He is now 18 and is accountable. Mamma' now looking for more freebies. I believe I see the reason behind his actions. Too many hand outs during his first 17 years, he became 18 and now had the short time responsibility of care for his son. Could not handle it, prison is too good for him!

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  • blegit456March 19, 2014 - 1:24 am

    You guys dont know nothing, this guy is one of the most loving people in the world, his actions may not show it but this is not who he is. Lord be with him and please guid him to the right path.

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  • CD BrooksMarch 19, 2014 - 7:19 am

    blegit456, as a father and a grandfather I am really pissed because if there was ever a case where your lord should have shown up before the incident, this was it. As usual he did not. He never does so your friend will have to fend for himself. I recommend the Dennis Miller approach...

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  • BMarch 19, 2014 - 8:17 am

    The most loving person in the world bit his infant sons nose off and cracked his skull? You disgust me to have the nerve to defend this monster and his actions. Lord be with him is right, because he deserves something awful for this.

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  • Noe S.March 19, 2014 - 8:55 am

    CD and B - I think you guys responded to a troll comment from 456. Just sayin'

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  • mescMarch 19, 2014 - 11:15 am

    "loving" yeah right. People who have brain cells with a vacancy signs on them thinking they know what "loving" is and not seeing the truth of evil actions are part of the problem. No one who brutally beats and bites an infant is "loving". Actions do indeed speak louder than words.

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  • Josh's Middleschool ClassmateMarch 19, 2014 - 1:47 pm

    For those of you saying that Josh was a nice kid growing up: you're wrong. I went to middle school with him and he was a huge bully and made my life a living hell every day making fun of me and my friends. He was rude and honestly when I heard the news I wasn't surprised. Maybe I wanted him to plead guilty out of being biased for him being such a jerk to me and those I knew, but he was NOT a nice person. I do pity him, however, he must be really messed up in the head. He's always seemed so.

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  • Tax PayerMarch 19, 2014 - 3:34 pm

    Gee, some truth finally surfacing! POS

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  • patrickMarch 19, 2014 - 1:55 pm

    were you previously known as CEE

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  • SadSocietyWeLiveInMarch 19, 2014 - 9:02 am

    There is no doubt this guy is mentally screwed up and disgusting for what he did!! But the racial undertones from some of you is equally disturbing!!..No one is defending this monster because that is what he is!! The welfare comment , baby daddy comments, and suggestion he had no parents involved and was in foster care? For those of you who said these things, do you know him or his family personally? Or are you prejudging him by his skin color and the street he was arrested on?. What this guy did was disgusting but you people on here are also disgusting!!. Ashamed that some of you live and work in this community!!.

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  • CD BrooksMarch 19, 2014 - 9:18 am

    SadSocietyWeLiveIn, yeah it is sad all right! Sad because of folks like you playing the race card and others playing the god card. But keep stirring it, you're part of the problem.

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  • BMarch 19, 2014 - 9:22 am

    Funny thing about that is not a single comment mentions race other than yours. Those issues that were brought up, babby daddy, welfare, etc, are not skin color specific! So take the race card and shove it.

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  • Rich GiddensMarch 19, 2014 - 11:30 am

    Looks like the accused pals are coming in here to tell us 2 things---1) the accused is really a swell guy and 2) we don't really know what happened. So I guess space aliens or their pit bull is responsible for a maimed and disfigured infant baby that's hospitalized. Too bad the victim can't weigh in and tell us what happened. ''Da da bad!"

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  • rantiMarch 19, 2014 - 5:53 pm

    Let Me Guess! the entire family is On Welfare! E.B.T. section 8,first five,etc....The entire family is also on drugs daily, including the mother when she was Preggy! The baby is probably a `crack` baby Who will grow up to be a gang member and carry on the `Family Tradition`I think Liberals (and the entire White Race) Hate Black People! they Know That these Freebies are Killing the Black Family!They are doing this on Purpose! Jessi Hackson and the Most Reverent Man of the(The finest Italian Clothes) cloth, are the New CRACKERS! DOING THE JOB THAT THEY DID IN SLAVE DAYS! KEEPING THE N@#%5^S IN LINE! mAKING SHURE THEY VOTE FOR THE MASSA!

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  • Rich GiddensMarch 19, 2014 - 8:57 pm

    Remember when William F. Buckley used to run that TV ad for National Review Magazine that showed a liberal TV news reporter expressing his sympathetic views for a condemned criminal by saying "how have we failed him?"----LOL!!!!

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  • jim freemanApril 09, 2014 - 11:42 am

    Jess, I must commend you in that you didn't feel the need to allude to the comments of Sgt. Oviatt that had previously been regurgitated by Mr. Eberling. So, one might assume that the possible drugs mentioned in the previous DR article were not found? How about the mention of the defendant's allegedly sealed, juvenile records? Should make for interesting courtroom dialog when the defense argues that the original article was a little 'yellow', and an impartial jury in this area might be an impossibility. Let me remind everyone: I don't support biting babies. I support responsible and dispassionate journalism. Jim Freeman

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