ST. GEORGE — A 25-year-old Hurricane City man who was arrested last week on two second-degree felony counts of intentional child abuse was scheduled for a roll call hearing in 5th District Court Monday afternoon.
Dakota Ross Woolsey, who is being held at the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility on $10,000 cash-only bail, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of physically abusing a 9-month-old infant who was subsequently transported to the hospital for his injuries.
During the course of the investigation, Woolsey allegedly admitted to slapping, choking and kicking the 9-month-old boy, who was found by doctors to have had fractured ribs and a fractured right tibia and fibula, according to a probable cause statement filed by the Hurricane City Police Department in support of the arrest.
Officers responded to the child abuse report Tuesday at a Hurricane residence where Woolsey had been babysitting his girlfriend’s 9-month-old boy as well as her 3-year-old boy while she went to a job interview, according to the report.
When officers arrived at the residence, they found that the 9-month-old had bruising on his left eye with blood spots in his eye, the arresting officer wrote in a sworn statement. The infant also had contusion marks on his chest, neck and back area as well as trauma on his forehead and jaw.
When officers questioned Woolsey at the police department, they asked him to run them through his day.
Woolsey initially told officers he didn’t know what had happened and that the child was fine when he put him down for a nap, the report stated. When his girlfriend returned home, Woolsey told police he woke up the 9-month-old from his nap and showed his girlfriend the infant’s injuries.
Woolsey told officers while he was babysitting he heard the 9-month-old crying and when he went to check on him, found the infant was OK. According to the report, Woolsey then changed his story and stated there was some redness around the infant’s eye.
When the 9-month-old became fussy again, Woolsey said he made him a bottle and put him down for a nap. Woolsey admitted “he was frustrated and that the victim wouldn’t stop crying,” but denied doing anything to hurt the 9-month-old, the report stated.
When an officer told Woolsey what he thought Woolsey had done to the child, Woolsey allegedly agreed with him and admitted that he had “slapped the boy in the face,” the officer wrote in the statement. When the officer asked him how hard he slapped the infant, Woolsey reportedly said he “slapped him really hard with the palm of his hand.”
When asked about the marks around the boy’s chest and back, Woolsey said he didn’t know how they had gotten there, but then “he admitted to trying to choke the baby to get him to stop crying” – hard enough that the infant was “gasping for air,” according to the probable cause statement.
Following a medical evaluation, police were informed by hospital personnel that the 9-month-old had fractured ribs and a fractured right tibia and fibula, the report stated. These injuries were found to have been from an earlier date.
When Woolsey was asked about these injuries, he first said he didn’t know before allegedly admitting to kicking the infant.
“I asked how hard and he told me he didn’t remember,” the officer wrote in the statement. “He stated he didn’t remember because, when he gets mad, he blacks out.”
Woolsey told the officer he didn’t know what happened to the child’s leg.
Woolsey was found indigent by the court during his initial court appearance and is being represented by court-appointed attorney Ariel Taylor. His next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 11.
According to Utah Court documents, Woolsey is also facing a third-degree felony charge of aggravated assault after his girlfriend told police that Woolsey had held her down with a knife in August and threatened to cut her.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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