An Iowa man snuck into an intensive care unit for newborns and bottle-fed a baby that was not his, according to police in Des Moines. Adam Joseph Wedig, 36, is being held at the Polk County Jail on two counts of trespassing as a first offense and on an “unrelated” parole violation, online records show.
The incident raised alarms for hospital staffers. Wedig is said to have snuck past a nurse and entered the neonatal intensive care unit at MercyOne Hospital, according to KCAU reports which cite the Des Moines Police Department. The defendant claimed to be a baby’s father and proceeded to bottle-feed one infant, authorities said. Though the television station says the incident occurred Dec. 28, 2021, court records say it happened one day earlier — on Dec. 27.
While cops are investigating a potential motive, they do not believe Wedig attempted to or intended to harm the infant. The police pointed out on Facebook that the baby was, indeed, not harmed.
“This is certainly an alarming and unsettling incident,” the police department added.
Earlier in the investigation, officers disseminated a photo of the suspect in an attempt to identify him. The image, which was taken from hospital surveillance cameras, shows a man wearing what appears to be a black hat, a light blue medical face mask, a deep red or rust-colored jacket, nondescript pants, and work boots. His eyes were barely visible.
It is unclear whether the targeted infant or its parents were known to Wedig. The police said online that officers could not have identified Wedig without the public’s help.
The hospital said it would cooperate with the police investigation and promised an internal review in a statement provided to local news organizations.
“MercyOne takes the safety and security of our patients and families very seriously,” the hospital said. “The incident that took place last month is extremely troubling. We are actively cooperating with the Des Moines Police Department on this ongoing investigation and have conducted an internal investigation into the matter, which prompted several changes to our policies and protocols to expand our security and prevent this from occurring in the future.”
The hospital said it also planned to “re-educate” staffers about security protocols, to increase identification checks and visitor-sign in procedures at hospital entrances, to implement other “enhanced” security measures, and to beef up staffing levels in nurseries and around the neonatal intensive care unit.
“MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center continues to focus on providing safe and compassionate care and living out the ministry set forth by the Sisters of Mercy more than 130 years ago,” the hospital concluded.
According to court records, a non-jury trial is scheduled in the matter as early as March 3, 2022.
Law&Crime reached out to Wedig’s parole officer to learn more about his prior case. The officer promised to pass the request for comment to a spokesperson. Local court officials refused to remotely provide a copy of the charging document. The local prosecutor’s office has not returned a Law&Crime telephone call seeking comment.
[Booking photo via Polk County Jail]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]