LAWRENCE — A 2-month-old boy is fighting for his life in a Boston hospital after his father admitted to shaking the infant and dropping him on the floor Monday afternoon, police said.

Anibal Cordero, 26, of 26 Abbott St., Apt. 2, told investigators he shook his son and dropped him, but caught the baby before his head hit the floor. The incident occurred at 1:45 p.m. Monday while Cordero was holding the baby and his mother was drawing him a bath, according to police reports.

The baby is now on a breathing machine at Boston Children's Hospital. He also needed a blood transfusion after doctors diagnosed the infant with shaken baby syndrome, prosecutor Colleen Cashman said.

Lawrence District Court Judge Michael Brooks ordered Cordero held on $100,000 bail, twice the amount Cashman requested, at his arraignment yesterday. Cordero is charged with assault and battery on a child causing substantial injury. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail.

Police launched an investigation after the infant, who was having difficulty breathing, was taken by ambulance to Lawrence General Hospital Monday afternoon. The child was suffering seizures and was diagnosed with a brain bleed, Cashman said. The baby boy was then taken by medical helicopter to Children's Hospital.

Cordero, when interviewed by a Lawrence detective and state police, initially denied knowing how his son was injured, according to police reports. He later admitted to shaking and dropping the child, actions his defense lawyer Timothy Murphy said were "accidental."

Murphy also argued a doctor who initially treated the baby at Lawrence General did not see any signs of child abuse. He said Cordero was distraught over his son being in intensive care while police interrogated him and videotaped it on a cell phone.

Under the judge's order, Cordero cannot have any unsupervised contact with children under age 12 and must comply with any orders handed down by the state's Department of Children and Families, which investigates child abuse complaints.

Cordero is due back in court today for appointment of a defense attorney. Murphy represented him only for yesterday's arraignment.

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