DIBOLL, TX (KTRE) - Officers with the Diboll Police Department arrested a 22-year-old man in connection to allegations that he was startled awake and accidentally struck and injured a 6-week-old baby that had been sleeping in the same bed with him after he had smoked marijuana laced with cocaine.
Kwame Diaquam Chavis, of Diboll, was booked into the Angelina County Jail early Wednesday on a first-degree felony injury to a child charge. His bail amount has been set at $50,000.
According to the arrest affidavit, the incident occurred on Dec. 20, 2015. Chavis told a Diboll Police Department officer that he had been smoking marijuana laced with cocaine and drinking large amounts of alcohol at a home in the 400 block of Robert Williams.
Chavis told the officer that he went to bed at about 4 a.m., and the 6-week-old baby was in the bed with him, the affidavit stated. At some point later in the morning, Chavis was startled awake by the baby's crying.
Then Chavis accidently struck the baby in the head and face with his elbow, the affidavit stated.
"It can be abuse if a child is injured in our care, even if we don't intend to do it," Harold's House community Education Director Ashley Cook said. "If we have put ourselves into a situation where we are not at our best to take care of them, we risk hurting them."
"The strike caused the infant to sustain a subdural hematoma," the affidavit stated. "It is unknown if the strike caused the infant to lose consciousness at that time."
After the baby's mother returned home from work, she checked on the child and noticed that signs of swelling. The woman told the police officer that, at the time, she believed her child having a reaction to an insect bite, the affidavit stated.
When the child's mother called her pediatrician, the doctor told her to take the infant to the emergency room. The baby's mother and Chavis took the child to Woodland Heights in Lufkin.
According to the arrest affidavit, emergency room personnel recognized signs of physical abuse and contacted the Lufkin Police Department. After an LPD officer gathered the relevant information and took photos of the baby's injuries, the case was transferred to the Diboll Police Department.
When the Diboll PD officer reviewed the medical records, he found evidence of additional trauma to the baby, the affidavit stated. An X-ray of the victim showed that the baby had suffered a broken bone in his left ankle area.
Chavis told police that the baby received the injury to his or her ankle when he was hold the baby on his forearms while he was playing a video game and the baby fell, the affidavit stated. According to the affidavit, Chavis didn't seek medical treatment for the child and did not tell the child's mother what had happened.
The affidavit stated that the baby's mother didn't find out about the child's ankle injury until after the X-ray scan was completed, and she and Chavis were confronted by Child Protective Services.
"When injuries happen, children need to be taken and checked, especially very small infants," Cook explained. "They are so fragile and they need to be checked out to be able to see if there isn't any kind of hidden injury."
In addition, there was a large scratch or scrape on the baby's torso. Chavis and the child's mother claimed that Chavis has long fingernails and that he accidentally scratched the baby while changing his or her diaper.