Man arrested in assault of 4-month-old son

EVERETT — A Marysville man has been arrested for investigation of three counts of assaulting a child after a medical exam found his 4-month-old son had a broken arm and fractures to both legs.

Bail was set Friday at $25,000. The man, Robert Okerstrom, 26, is not allowed to have contact with his child or the child’s mother.

A doctor said the baby’s broken arm likely was the result of “a very forceful twisting motion,” Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Andrew Alsdorf said in court Friday.

“We’re dealing with a serious anger issue that is unpredictable and uncontrollable,” he said.

Both the leg fractures apparently were “caused by twisting and turning commonly found in child abuse,” according to a Marysville Police Department affidavit used to establish probable cause for the arrest.

Okerstrom’s defense attorney Jon Scott asked for his release. Okerstrom has no criminal history and was going through a “period of frustration and rage” as a sleep-deprived new parent, Scott said.

The baby was taken to a doctor on Tuesday after his mother grew concerned. The woman sobbed throughout the hearing Friday. She also asked for Okerstrom’s release.

Okerstrom was arrested Thursday and booked into the Snohomish County Jail.

Police were told that the boy’s arm was broken in two places between the elbow and shoulder.

The boy’s mother said she noticed trouble when Okerstrom handed off the baby to her between work shifts. Her son’s arm was red, swollen and limp when she took him out of the car seat, she said.

When she touched his arm, the baby let out “a blood-curdling scream,” she told a Marysville detective.

Okerstrom initially told her that nothing unusual had happened. He speculated to police that the broken arm could have occurred accidentally when he was trying to remove the child from his car seat.

He then offered another possible explanation, that he was afraid that he broke his son’s arm when he squeezed him while trying to feed him a bottle.

Later, he allegedly admitted it occurred in a “fit of rage” while removing the boy from the car seat, the police report said.

He also allegedly said that “he was most likely responsible for the fractures in the legs,” but he downplayed the cause saying he was playing with the child, court papers said.

An orthopedic doctor told police that the leg fractures are not consistent with normal play activities. He also found that it was “highly unlikely” that a 4-month-old would be mobile enough to cause them on his own.

Okerstrom also has been seeking counseling, the mother said.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, stevick@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Woman badly burned in north Everett house fire

Two men escaped unharmed from the burning home on Lombard Avenue.

House passes ban on bump-fire stocks

If the Senate approves, Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to sign it into law.

Man charged with rape, manslaughter of teen dying from overdose

Brian Roberto Varela’s arraignment is scheduled for Monday.

Unitarian Universalist Congregation puts faith to work

Its “religiously liberal” members are open to differing creeds and doctrines.

Aid crews get a dose of digital medicine

iPad app does the math for them so aid crews are free to treat children

Boy, 15, pleads guilty to kicking death of teen in Marysville

Prosecutors are seeking 30 days behind bars, which is the higher end of what’s allowed for minors.

No injuries after fire ravages vacant Marysville house

Firefighters could not prevent flames from causing damage throughout the interior of the home.

Spikes put end to ride from Seattle to Everett in stolen car

Two men were taken into custody at the bottom of Marine View Drive off I-5.

2 arrested after Marysville shooting leaves man brain dead

The victim had shown 1 suspect — a friend — a stack of money he won at the casino, police said.

Most Read