A 29-year-old Tacoma man has been charged with second-degree child assault after his 3-year-old son was found wandering alone on a city street with a black eye and other injuries.
A not guilty plea was entered on behalf of Mychel Bigby last week in Pierce County Superior Court. His bail was set at $250,000.
The case began Sept. 23 when two men flagged down a Tacoma police officer near East 46th Street and Pacific Avenue. The boy was with them.
The men told the officer they’d found the child walking alone on Pacific Avenue, court records show.
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The officer noted the child “had several facial injuries and was holding a plastic bag full of ice wrapped inside a pair of children’s underwear,” the records show.
His injuries included an abrasion on his right cheek, abrasions on both arms and a large bruise around his left eye.
“My dad whupped me,” the boy reportedly replied when asked what happened to him.
A witness pointed out a nearby apartment and told the officer that was where the boy lives, records show. The witness told the officer other children lived in the apartment as well.
The first officer and a second dispatched as backup knocked on the apartment door. Receiving no answer, they went inside to check on the welfare of the other children but found no one home, records show.
The electricity was not working and there appeared to be little food, the records show.
Bigby and a woman later approached the officers.
Under questioning from the officers, Bigby allegedly said he beat the boy with a belt two days before but denied striking his son in the face, records show.
Examination at a local hospital showed the boy also had injuries on his back, torso and chest. Some of those injuries appeared to be older, court records show.
Deputy prosecutor Angelica Williams wrote that more charges could be filed.