A Randle man has been charged for allegedly assaulting a 1-month-old infant, causing multiple rib fractures, in late April.
The defendant, 19-year-old Takoda Free Seymer, has been charged with one count of second-degree assault of a child, domestic violence, after the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office completed an investigation into a report made by the victim’s mother after the infant was hospitalized on April 28.
The victim’s mother reportedly took the infant to the Providence Centralia Hospital on April 28 after noticing “what appeared to be massive bruising on the child’s chest and stomach,” according to court documents.
Due to the extent of the child’s injuries, he was transported to Seattle Children’s Hospital the next day.
According to the mother, Seymer had been caring for the victim at his Randle residence when, on the evening of April 27, he approached the mother “and said he could not take it anymore and he needed help.”
Seymer reportedly handed the victim to the mother, and she noticed that the victim “had been spitting up on himself.” She removed the victim’s onesie to clean him “and immediately noticed the bruising on (the victim’s) abdomen.” She became “upset with Takoda” and “kept screaming at Takoda, ‘what did you do to this baby? What did you do to this baby?’”
Seymer reportedly told the mother “he did not do anything, but was adamant that the child hated him.”
The mother noted that “Takoda was a first-time father and very tense,” according to court documents.
The mother additionally told the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office detective handling the case she recalled a couple of incidents “when she heard something from the living room, where Takoda was with (the victim), that she didn’t like,’” according to court documents, including an instance when she heard “a slapping sound accompanied by (the victim) screaming and crying.”
Later that night, the mother reportedly heard Seymer get out of bed because the baby was “fussing and crying,” and she attempted to have Seymer give her the baby to calm him down. “Takoda responded aggressively stating ‘we’re fine,’” according to court documents. She “attempted several more times to take the child from Takoda, but was unsuccessful.”
Just before midnight, Seymer “came to her bedroom upstairs and was angry, saying ‘He hates me. He hates me,” according to court documents. The mother took the infant and again noticed his onesie was wet with spit up. While changing it, she noted “redness or bruising on (the victim’s) chest and abdomen areas.” The mother told detectives “she immediately started screaming and yelling at Takoda” and added “she regretfully did not take (the victim) to be medically evaluated” that night.
Seattle Children’s Hospital doctors’ official opinion, as of May 11, was that the victim’s injuries were “non-accidental” and likely occurred within the two weeks before he was taken to the hospital.
When contacted by a Lewis County Sheriff's Office deputy on May 5, Seymer allegedly “did admit he was getting overwhelmed with (the victim) when (the victim) was crying” but “could not come up with a reason why (the victim) would have bruising,” except that “it could have been caused by the cat jumping on (the victim).”
He also said he’d never seen the cat jump on the victim.
In a separate taped statement, Seymer “said he was overwhelmed and believed he just ‘blacked out’ before handing (the victim) over to his mother,” according to court documents.
The Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office sent an official court summons to Seymer’s address on May 21 and he appeared in Lewis County Superior Court for a preliminary appearance for the second-degree assault of a child, domestic violence, charge on June 16.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines.
Judge James W. Lawler issued a no contact order for the victim and set Seymer’s bail at $20,000 unsecured, meaning that Seymer can remain out of custody and does not have to pay the bail amount as long as he follows his conditions of release.
His next court appearance is an arraignment hearing scheduled for June 24.