Tyler C. Arnold, Elwood, stands accused of shaking a 7-week-old boy to the point where the child was experiencing seizures, according to RTV Channel 6. He is now facing several felony charges in connection with the battery.
According to Elwood police reports, the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) received a call on Sep 23 reporting that a 7-week-old baby had been rushed to the hospital due seizures he began having the day before. The mother brought the baby to the hospital after she noticed the child was not acting like himself, telling hospital staff that he began having seizures on Sept 22. Hospital staff told police the mother was not able to describe much of the day leading up to the baby’s seizures and hospitalization. The hospital staff found possible bleeding in the baby’s brain and transferred him to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Riley Hospital for Children.
RTV6 reports that the lead doctor who examined the child told investigators that the type of injuries they discovered on the child could have occurred by trauma to his brain, most likely from injuries occurring over the weekend. He indicated the injuries could be from violent movement of the head back and forth (shaking) or impact against a hard or softer surface.
The child’s right femur and a bone in his left foot were also found to be broken.
The child’s mother told police she had been dating Arnold for only three weeks and began staying with Arnold in his Elwood home with her child. She admitted to investigators, according to RTV6 that she and Arnold had been using several illegal drugs during the days up to the boy’s injuries, including hydrocodone, heroin and morphine.
The mother had told investigators Arnold had reportedly told her he wanted to smack the baby any time he cried. She further stated she remembered seeing him shaking the baby on the morning of Sept 22 yelling, “Why don’t you ever be quiet? Don’t you ever shut up?” She said she was scared to report the incident or get the child medical help because Arnold told her they would both be arrested if she took the child to the hospital. Investigators told RTV6 that during an argument about taking the baby to the hospital, Arnold told her “to go ahead and go to the police because (my) dad runs them.”
Arnold has maintained his innocence saying he had been with friends all weekend and denies being in a relationship with the child’s mother. He further stated he had been begging her to take the child into the hospital but did not do it himself as he did not want his name involved. His story has changed throughout several different interviews.
Arnold now faces four felony charges: neglect of a dependent, a Class-B felony, aggravated battery, a Class-B felony, criminal recklessness, a Class-D felony and battery, a Class-Be felony.
Doctors have reported that the child will likely survive but will suffer from permanent damage to his vision, hearing and speech. He also may develop cerebral palsy later in childhood.