RUSSELLVILLE — Police Chief Chris Hargett clearly was at a loss for words when he tried to talk about the arrest of a man charged with abusing his 3-month-old son.
“In this business we see a lot, but it’s just hard to understand how these things happen,” Hargett said. “For a man to abuse his infant son, I just can’t understand it.”
Jacinto Castro Zacarias, 23, 300 1/2 Madison St., Russellville, is charged with aggravated child abuse.
Police said Zacarias is accused of shaking his son so severely that the baby was hospitalized.
Hargett said Zacarias was arrested after the Franklin County Department of Human Resources contacted police.
“DHR was contacted on Oct. 13 by officials with Russellville Hospital about the injuries the baby sustained,” Hargett said.
Russellville police investigator Lt. Scotty Lowery said medical personnel reported the baby was suffering from shaken baby syndrome.
Police said Zacarias told medical personnel he shook the baby because the baby was choking and he was trying to get the infant to breath.
Lowery said the child was taken from Russellville to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham.
Reports indicate the baby sustained a subdural hematoma, which is a collection of blood on the brain, and retinal tearing in both eyes.
“The doctors said it was nothing but a case of shaken baby,” Lowery said. “Medical personnel said there was no other explanation for the injuries.”
Based on the findings of the doctors, Hargett said, Zacarias was taken into custody, questioned and charged Monday.
Lowery said the child has been released from the hospital and is now in the custody of DHR.
“He is doing better, but no one knows what kind of long-term injuries or effects all of this may have on him,” Lowery said.
Hargett said he is hoping for the best.
“We’re all hoping he will be OK,” Hargett said. “It could have been a lot worse.”
Zacarias is out of jail on bail of $50,000.
Aggravated child abuse is a Class B felony and is punishable by 2-20 years in prison if convicted.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.