A Lacey man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first-degree assault of a child for allegedly causing injuries to his 5-month-old son, including a “sub dermal hemorrhage, abusive head trauma, suffocation and convulsions,” court papers state.
Matthew Roberson, 21, was at the Thurston County Jail after his arraignment on one count of first-degree assault of a child with aggravating circumstances. His bail is $25,000.
According to court papers:
Lacey police began investigating after the boy was admitted Aug. 8 to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia. The boy’s parents brought him to the hospital because he “had been vomiting and listless for the past couple of weeks and the previous night they noticed swelling to the soft spot on his head.”
A CT scan revealed two subdermal hematomas on the child’s head.
Detective Bev Reinhold confirmed Tuesday that she was called to the hospital because of the suspicious nature of the injuries. Health care workers are required to report such injuries to police.
The child’s mother told Reinhold that her husband, Roberson, watches the baby during the day while she is at work.
During a taped statement, Roberson said he had recently dropped the boy on a pillow while he was fussy and crying. He added that he had placed the palm of his hand over the baby’s mouth while he was crying, in an attempt to get the baby to hold on to his pacifier. Roberson said that when he returned after getting his son a bottle, the infant was having a seizure.
Roberson said he did not mean to harm the baby but admitted it was possible his actions could have caused the seizure. A doctor later told Reinhold that dropping a baby on a pillow could not have caused the serious head injuries.
Roberson has no criminal history.
Reinhold said Tuesday that the infant has been discharged from the hospital and is recovering at home. She said the baby has a good prognosis for recovery.