A Lakewood man is accused of critically injuring his 6-week-old son last week to get him to stop crying.
David Edward Sharp, 24, pleaded not guilty at arraignment Friday to first-degree child abuse, and Pierce County Superior Court Commissioner Meagan Foley set bail at $1 million.
Court records did not list an attorney for him.
Charging papers give this account:
Staff at Saint Clare Hospital in Lakewood called police Tuesday to report possible child abuse after Sharp and the baby’s mother showed up with the infant.
The parents both denied causing their son’s injuries, which included a skull fracture, rib fractures and bleeding in his brain.
Medical workers intubated the infant and transferred him to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma, where doctors told detectives the baby was in critical condition and that his injuries weren’t accidental.
Sharp said he had been watching the child while the mother was at work. Sharp said the baby went limp while he was giving him a bath, he called the mother and they took the child to Saint Clare.
Sharp provided more detail when a detective interviewed him a couple of days later.
He said he used his hand to push down on the infant’s mouth May 8 while he was in a bassinet to get him to stop crying. Then he pushed from underneath the bassinet with his other hand, which compressed the child’s head.
That continued for 35 to 45 seconds, and after Sharp noticed blood in one of the baby’s eyes.
Sharp became frustrated with the infant’s crying again the next morning, and he put his hand on the baby’s chest, and pushed himself up off the couch.
That caused the child to cry out in pain, and to start making grunting noises.
His dad tried giving him a bottle, but the baby threw up.
Then he tried giving the infant a bath in a plastic baby tub, which sat inside the regular bathtub. Again Sharp got frustrated with the child’s crying.
He put his hand on the infant’s chest, flung him backward into the baby bath and the child hit his head.
That’s when the baby started staring blankly, and Sharp thought he was dead, until he heard the infant’s heartbeat.
He called the mother, she came home and they took the baby to the hospital. Sharp didn’t tell her what happened, he said.
The infant was still in the hospital Friday, when prosecutors filed charges.