OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ The baby allegedly beaten almost to death by a 6-year-old boy in an attack that horrified the nation was released Thursday from Oakland Children's Hospital.

But doctors say 2-month-old Ignacio Bermudez Jr. suffered extensive brain damage in the April 22 beating and faces disabilities that could leave him blind and an invalid.

The baby, nestled in the arms of his mother, Maria Carmen Bermudez, slept peacefully, nursing a yellow pacifier as his parents talked to reporters and his 2- and 3-year-old brothers played with ``Get Well'' balloons.

``I know he's suffered a lot in the previous days, and I am really looking forward to when we first get the baby home,'' his mother said. ``I will give him a lot of attention. I will dedicate myself to him.''

She said that despite his injuries, Ignacio Jr. looked almost normal, and seemed to be moving well.

The father, Ignacio Bermudez Sr., said he is moving his family, with help from the city of Richmond, into public housing in another neighborhood, partly because of crime in their tough ``Iron Triangle'' district.

``But also because we don't want to stay in the same house,'' he said, his voice cracking slightly. ``I never want to see the place where it happened again.''

The father has not worked at his pipe insulation factory job since the attack, although his employer paid him for two of those weeks and is holding his job. The family has received ``a little'' financial help from the community, he said.

Despite the injuries to his son, the father again refused to demand punishment for the alleged attacker, believed to be the youngest child in the nation ever accused of attempted murder.

``What no one understands is that this is a child. Children are the pillar of life,'' Bermudez said. ``He should be cured mentally. He needs to have good things done for him, so he never does this again.''

Dr. Robert Haining, chief of pediatrics, said Ignacio Jr.'s chances of a full recovery were slim.

The baby suffered extensive damage to the left and rear of his brain, and some of that tissue has died, he said. While his eyes are healthy, the part of the brain that interprets what they see is damaged. It is possible that the baby will never be able to sit up, much less walk, but it will be months or years before doctors are certain of that.

``The baby has suffered a profound brain injury,'' Haining said. ``We do know that with the degree of damage he has suffered, his continued development is at very high risk.''

The baby will receive physical therapy at a special center approximately once a week, but much of that will be aimed at teaching the family how to deal with the child, Haining said.

Meanwhile, the 6-year-old Richmond boy who allegedly beat the baby with his hands, feet and a stick remains in Contra Costa Juvenile Hall undergoing psychological testing in preparation for a competency hearing June 7, said his attorney, John Burris.

Juvenile authorities are trying to find a better facility for the boy, but have been unsuccessful so far.

Burris said he doesn't believe the boy yet understands the full gravity of his alleged crime.

``He is just a 6-year-old,'' the lawyer said. ``We're still just trying to communicate in a regular way.''


Eds: Contributions for the Bermudez family may be sent to St. Mark's-Bermudez Family Fund, 159 Harbor Way, Richmond, CA, 94801.