A 28-day-old baby is in stable condition at Roanoke Memorial Hospital today and its father is behind bars facing child abuse charges.
According to Maj. Anthony Cline of the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office, Seth Lennon Aker, 22, called deputies Tuesday evening to an apartment at 129 Saint Peters Road to report a robbery.
He said Aker told deputies a man broke into his Speedwell home and held him at gunpoint, demanding money. Aker said that as the assailant left, he knocked over the baby crib, causing the baby to strike its face on the floor. The baby was bleeding from the mouth and had an injured face, Cline said.
Aker described the suspect and deputies searched the area while Wytheville Fire and Rescue examined the child and took it to Wythe County Community Hospital. When deputies arrived, the baby was crying horribly and had blood coming from its mouth, Cline said, adding that investigators determined that Aker’s story was not consistent with the child’s injuries.
Confronted with the inconsistencies, Aker confessed that he was home alone with the child while the mother was at work when the baby began to cry nonstop, the major said.
“Mr. Aker stated that he could not get the baby to stop crying, so he kept shoving a bottle into its mouth repeatedly, (and that) is why the baby's gums and mouth were bleeding. He stated this did not stop the baby from crying, so he began to shake the baby. He stated he shook the baby until it stopped crying. Seth Aker stated that while shaking the baby he hit the baby’s face on a table in the bedroom causing the injury to the baby’s face. This caused instant bruising to the facial area,” Cline said.
According to the major, Aker said he shook the baby off and on for 10 minutes.
“He said he would shake it until it stopped crying, then when the baby would come to and start crying, he would shake it again,” Cline said.
According to the major, doctors examining the baby found a broken rib and evidence of healing fractures.
Deputies arrested Aker and charged him with false report to law enforcement about the commission of a crime, maliciously cause bodily injury – victim severely injured, felony child abuse and felony child endangerment.
Aker, who has no criminal history, is being held without bond in the New River Valley Regional Jail, according to court documents. His preliminary hearing has been set for Aug. 18 in Wythe County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.
To reach Millie Rothrock, call 276-228-6611, ext. 35, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.