PORT ORCHARD, Wash. — A father in Kitsap County is accused of assaulting his 3-month-old daughter so badly that she was hospitalized with shaken baby syndrome. Investigators say the little girl’s twin brother suffered bruises and a broken bone.
“I think it’s too bad,” neighbor Betty Juneau said with a sigh.
Juneau lives right next door to where police say Arthur violently shook his infant daughter.
“It’s heartbreaking to know that it’s happening, but it is happening too much anyways,” added Juneau.
Police reports say Arthur’s wife rushed the little girl to the hospital after she noticed the baby was lethargic and that’s when doctors found bleeding on her brain.
“We found probability of a shaken baby involving this 3-month-old who is a twin; the other twin is a boy,” said deputy Scott Wilson of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office. “He came into the picture a little later as a follow-on investigation occurred looking into the family situation, and doctors realized he, too, had some injuries.”
Doctors discovered the boy had a fractured rib, which had already begun to heal.
“I don’t believe that violence under those circumstances is necessarily a natural situation,” said Juneau. “I feel that he needs help to be able to express himself without taking it out on the children who aren’t doing what he thinks they should be doing.”
According to police reports, Arthur said he’s used to being in control of his life but that he couldn’t stay in control with his infant twins.
Doctors hope this case serves as a reminder for other parents: Infants will cry frequently for the first few weeks – and then it peaks around 2 months. Plus, doctors say, parents have to make a plan for when nothing keeps their babies from crying.
“Once you’ve met all their needs; you’ve fed them, changed their diaper, and if you’re feeling yourself get frustrated, put the baby down in a safe place and walk away,” said Dr. Michael Neufeld with Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Police records show Arthur admitted to police that he had been drinking during some of the abusive incidents. They also say Arthur said that he loves his kids and that he was only reacting out of frustration.
Arthur is being held on $50,000 bail. His next court date is Dec. 3.