MARYSVILLE — An Everett man was jailed Friday for investigation of felony assault after he allegedly admitted biting and otherwise abusing a young boy who has cerebral palsy.
The suspect, 31, had been spending time with the child’s mother the last couple of months.
Marysville police began investigating after the boy, who turns 4 in July, was taken to an area hospital for treatment of a broken ankle.
Hospital workers found three fractures to the boy’s lower left leg. He also had bruises to his face, chest and on his ear, according to a police report filed in connection with the arrest.
A doctor trained to recognize signs of abuse told police the bruises were “clearly non-accidental” and that the broken bones may have been the result of the boy’s leg having been stomped, but she could not say for certain.
The child’s mother first took the boy to the hospital Jan. 28 after he complained of pain in his leg. No fractures were found. She returned with him the next day after it appeared his condition had worsened. The night before, she heard the boy crying. The suspect told her the boy had hurt himself falling off a bed.
The mother said she had become worried that the man may be hurting her son, who was born premature, has cerebral palsy, a tracheotomy and needs special care, according to police.
X-rays on Jan. 29 found signs of broken bones. The mother also presented hospital staff with photographs she’d taken that showed bruising on the boy, including what appeared to be bite marks on his face and upper arm.
Marysville police asked to speak with the man Friday. He initially denied hurting the boy and said the child had hurt himself accidentally. When challenged, he allegedly said he may have stepped on the boy’s ankle, picked him up too roughly and had bitten him on the cheek.
He was arrested for investigation of second-degree assault of a child.
State Child Protective Services workers had taken steps to make sure the boy will have a safe place to live with relatives after his release from the hospital, documents say.
Scott North: 425-339-3431; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snorthnews.