SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — A Springfield father is in jail after being accused of abusing his six-month-old baby. Springfield police officers say they responded to McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center Monday to investigate suspicious injuries to a baby. They say their investigation led them to the child’s own father.
Brian Wynn, 20, was formally arraigned Wednesday afternoon at the Lane County Jail on two charges of assault and criminal mistreatment of his child. Investigators say officers were called in by hospital staff who thought things didn’t feel right when Wynn came in Monday.
Springfield Police Department Sgt. David Lewis says, “During their examination, they found the child had a fractured skull, which is always serious. So, they decided the child should be taken to Legacy Emanuel in Portland where they were better equipped to treat things like that and the kid was flown there.”
Further examination revealed evidence of other, older injuries. Officers say these cases are always tough.
“Having been in this job for a long time and seeing these things, it still dumbfounds me why someone would do something like that, especially to a child that can’t even crawl,” says Sgt. Lewis.
But, officers and local assistance agencies say it is possible these cases can be prevented if community members keep their eyes and ears open.
Sgt. Lewis says, “We get constant calls of people wanting us to do welfare checks. They just need to be diligent in watching out for people. If they hear strange things or think it’s strange, call the police and we’ll check it out.”
They also say people should just be informed.
Relief Nursery Executive Director Kelly Sutherland says, “There isn’t a stereotypical child abuser out there. It could be anyone at any time feeling stressed, lacking information, lacking resources.”
Agencies say know what’s available.
“Really, the message in all of this is that the most important thing to do is to provide support and resources to the families before they lash out and before it becomes a situation where there’s no turning back,” says Sutherland.
The baby is now back with the mother, but the Department of Human Services is involved and is expected to check in regularly.