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Police: Alleged attack on baby ‘unconscionable’

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bpoliceBELLINGHAM, Wash.  — A baby is recovering following a disturbing attack Sunday afternoon in Bellingham, when a man with a history of mental illness allegedly punched a 4-month-old in the head.

Police said a Bellingham man hit the baby so hard, the child needed hospitalization.

Officer Mark Young of the Bellingham Police Department said in his 30 years in law enforcement, he’s never seen anything like it.

“This one to me and in my experience, remains the most egregious and unconscionable , I just can’t explain it,” Young said. “Other than it’s not the act of a rational thinking person.”

The incident happened on Sunday afternoon when the family, who was visiting from Seattle, were having lunch at the Pita Pit in downtown Bellingham. That’s when employees say 28-year -old Daniel Joshua Bravo came in, stood next to the family’s table and began to stare.

Trevor Ebel was working that day. He said he could tell something was terribly wrong by the man’s stare.

“The family was sitting at this table here closest to the cash register,” Ebel said. “I asked him if he was okay and he said he wasn’t okay. And I thought that was kind of weird, so I just kept looking at him,  waiting to see what he was going to do next. He just turned around and walked out.”

When the family left the eatery, the mother – who was cradling the baby in her arms – was allegedly jumped by the suspect. Bravo allegedly ran at the mother from behind and  punched the baby in the head. The suspect used so much force the baby almost fell from the mother’s arms, police said. But she caught her child just in time.

“Had the child fallen with the force of the blow and hit his head, I just shudder to think about what could have happened,”Young said.

The baby was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure.

Following the attack, Bravo tried to run away but was chased down and held by the baby’s father and another witness. He was booked into jail for second degree assault and is held in lieu of $250,000 bail.

Bellingham police said Bravo has a well-documented history of mental illness, hallucinations and drug use. Bravo allegedly told the police the devil made him hit the child.

“Initially upon his arrest was that quote – the devil made me hit the child,” Young said. “That is not the statement of a rational mind.”

Police said Bravo was recently released after serving a three month jail sentence for one count of burglary. Court records show he told victims he was off his medication.

Bravo’s next court appearance will be December 28th.

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  • arie

    im sorry but its hard for me to feel sympathy for anybody claiming mental health issues these days because everybody uses it to get away with something…so i guess i could do it and cry the devil made me do it…pleeeaaassse, you do something to a child, it should be done to you, period, point blank….never had this much mental cry in my life…

  • Diane

    Time to execute him. Really, we don't need filth like this draining our system, there's no fixing this piece of garbage. Just put him down like a rabid dog.

    • Rachel

      You're a real piece of crap, Diane. He's a young man with mental health issues. Perhaps if people like you actually gave a shit about making mental healthcare available to people who clearly need it, people like him would receive psychotherapy and medication and be able to function as normal members of society. It's you – and all the idiots out there like you – that need to be executed.

      • Warrior

        Rachel thank you!!! Mental health is not available enough and it's hard to commit those who need it or to force meds. Many with schizophrenia and bipolar disorders refuse to stay medicated and it's dang hard to legally force them. I hope this guy gets the help he needs rather than being "put down like a rabid dog."

        Diane – you need to get a clue and find some humanity. And before you start calling me names like a liberal – I'm a card carrying republican, one of the many who have humanity and common sense.

        • Lise

          Not many,, few – you have no idea how many people who have mental illness who are taking their meds are safe productive people in society. You just don't hear about them, the news doesn't report things like that.

          • Warrior

            Ok – few but it's still too many. Most that do refuse are still harmless. The vast majority with schizophrenia never resort to violent behavior. Those who do need to be forced to medicate, if the only way to do so is to institutionalize them, so be it. I'm not saying all who don't take their meds, just those who pose a threat to themselves or others. Those who remain un-medicated with bipolar disorder do tend to be more violent towards themselves or others than schizos. Or so it would seam.

      • rhonda

        who said he didn't have access to care? i didn't read it anywhere in the article. some of the most disturbed people don't "like" to take the meds they r prescribed! so they just refuse and everyone else suffers. when/if that happens they should be treated as though they were sane, because they were sane when they made the choice to stop the meds.


    • mlanosa

      Wow Diane, I hope you never have to deal with a family member or one of your own children if their Mental Health deteriorates. Remember your comments today and if you ever have to deal with this type of illness, I hope you don't put them down like a "rabid dog." You are one very cold and inhumane individual. I feel sorry for those who have to deal with you.

  • Bob

    Some of you need to understand and open your mind to what mental illness actually is. I'm not defending this guy at all and I don't know all the facts, but knowing mental illness I do know that some people are not in control of their actions or maintain their medication regimen. I mean, really, no one sane would punch a baby you don't even know, period. Approximately 1 in 4 people have a mental illness of some degree (unfortunately many go without diagnosis), and one day it may be your husband or your son who suffers, so don't pass judgement so lightly without knowing the facts. You are part of the problem by simply saying "put him away" or "time to execute him". That does not lead us down the path of addressing mental health problems in our nation!

    I am hoping for health and recovery for the baby and the family. What a terrible experience for you.

    • Warrior

      I completely agree Bob. What the guy did is inexcusable but treatment and not execution would serve society much better. I agree with forced medication for some with severe mental illness. It sounds like this guy is perfect candidate for forced meds. Glad the baby is going to be ok.

      • Guest

        Bob and Warrior are correct…. and the issue goes far beyond hat they have stated. What happens to this guy now (prison, meds, shot him) is the wrong thing to be focusing on. The focus needs to be on the guy that will be doing something like this (or much, MUCH worse) next week/month/year.

        Even more than sane gun control laws (there is no sane reason a civilian needs military assault riffle) this counry needs to address the large population of mentally unstable people that are among us every day. I work in a down town area and see 2-10 people a day that are obviously in need of mental care.

    • rhonda

      Bob: some of the most disturbed people don't "like" to take the meds they r prescribed! so they just refuse and everyone else suffers. when/if that happens they should be treated as though they were sane, because they were sane when they made the choice to stop the meds.

  • mlanosa

    Another example of a Failed Mental Health System. Glad the baby is going to be fine, but the Government needs to realize that to fix the system is going to cut down on crime and homelessness. Richest Country and we don't take care of our own…Very sad.

  • preciouslife

    seriously?!?! If this man has a history of mental illness why isn't he in an institution?? I know the state can only afford so much, but really?? Does it take an attack on a baby for them to realize that this man needs to be off the streets and have constant supervision? Not just in jail, but with doctors that can help his condition. He obviously cant be trusted to live on his own if he is unwilling to take his medication routinly. Common just system, do the right thing!!

    • preciouslife

      PS I am glad however that the baby will be okay. Thank goodness for the quick reflexes of his mother and the fast action of his father. Those are parents to be proud of!