FIFE, Wash. — A father was arrested Monday on suspicion of second-degree child assault after he called 911 and reported his 4-month-old son was unresponsive in his home.
Firefighters were called around 7 a.m. to a home in the 6200 block of Park Street. The baby was found unresponsive and taken to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma.
The baby’s condition was not known Monday night, but police believe it may be a case of shaken baby syndrome.
“We don’t have the full report from the doctor’s office yet, but that is what we believe is going to be the case,” Fife police Lt. Tom Thompson said.
Police said the man came down to the police station for questioning and was cooperative but they say his story kept changing.
“He came down on his own and, doing the course of that interview, we developed probable cause to go ahead and arrest him so he was booked into the county jail for assault of a child in the second degree,” Thompson said.
The child’s mother was not in the home at the time and police don’t believe she had anything to do with the injuries, Thompson said.
Neighbors were upset to hear the news.
“I think it’s horrible. It almost makes me wonder why do you even have a child if you’re not ready for that responsibility,” neighbor Rachel Kim said.
“The whole thing is just devastating, you know, it’s hard for the family, hard for the neighbors, it’s hard for our officers,” Thompson said.
In a separate incident, a Pierce County man was arraigned Monday on one count of first-degree murder after a 2-year-old child was found dead in Tacoma Saturday. Police arrived at the home after receiving reports of the toddler having trouble breathing. The man was arrested at the scene.
The suspect is being held in Pierce County Jail on $1.5 million bail.