(ELWOOD) - An Elwood man is facing several felony charges after he being suspected of shaking a baby boy to the point that the child was experiencing seizures, police said.
Elwood police reports said on Sept. 23, the Department of Child Services (DCS) got a report regarding the health of a 7-week-old boy.
RTV6 reports, according to police the mother had brought her baby to a hospital after she said she noticed the boy was not acting like himself. She reportedly told hospital staff that the baby began having seizures on Sept. 22. Hospital staff said they found possible bleeding in the baby's brain. That's when he was transferred to Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Riley Hospital for Children.
Documents said police kept an active eye on the situation over the next couple of days as doctors at the children's hospital tried to determine the cause of the child's brain bleed. By Sept. 24, police said doctors had discovered the boy had received trauma to his brain, leading to the brain bleeding.
Doctors also told police the child's right femur (thigh bone) and a bone in his left foot were possibly fractured.
The lead doctor dealing with the young boy told investigators the type of injuries the child had sustained appeared to have occurred over the weekend. He also said the trauma to the boy's head could have been caused by one or a combination of the following factors: violent movement of the head back and forth (shaking), impact against a hard surface or impact against a softer surface.
The doctor said the boy would live, but that he would probably have permanent damage to his vision, hearing and speech; develop cerebral palsy; or could never develop at all.
When interviewed by police, the mother told them she had been dating Tyler C. Arnold, 20, for roughly three weeks, which is around the time she began staying with Arnold in his Elwood home. It's been reported elsewhere that Arnold is the son of Elwood mayor Ron Arnold. RTV6 has not been able to get that confirmed.
The mother of the boy told investigators that in the days leading up to the boy's injuries, the couple used several different illegal drugs: hydrocodone, heroin, Oxycontin and morphine. Police said the mother was unable to describe much of the day leading up to the baby's seizures and hospitalization.
Investigators said the mother reported that during an argument about taking the baby to the hospital, Arnold told the young woman "to go ahead and go to the police, because (my) dad runs them."
Among other details of Arnold's behavior around the baby, the mother told investigators Arnold had admitted he wanted to smack the baby any time the child cried. The mother said she remembered seeing Arnold shaking the baby on the morning of Sept. 22, yelling, "Why don't you ever be quiet? Don't you ever shut up?" Later that day, the boy would begin having seizures.
The mother told police she had initially been too scared to report the incident or get the child medical help, because Arnold told her they'd both be arrested if they took the baby to the hospital.
In interviews with Arnold himself, investigators said he denied being in a relationship at all with the mother, and said he had been begging her to let him take the baby to the hospital, but realized he didn't want his name involved.
Arnold told police he had been with friends all weekend. However in a second interview, police said he began changing parts of his story from the previous police interview. Investigators found through interviews with friends and Arnold's roommate that the mother had, indeed, been staying at the residence and appeared to be in a relationship with Arnold.
Police said Arnold was placed under arrest and faces four charges: neglect of a dependent, a Class-B felony; aggravated battery, a Class-B felony; criminal recklessness, a Class-D felony; and battery, a Class-B felony.
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