Dad JOSE RUIZ-LOPEZ has been arrested for domestic abuse before, but "somehow" the charges were dropped. This weekend, he was apparently after his girlfriend again, the mother of their 5-week-old son. She fled from the house, and Daddy Dearest was in such a state that he shook the baby till his head hit the floor. When Mom came back, they called 911, but it was too late. The baby was dead. Dad is now charged with 2nd-degree murder, and has been denied bond. Too bad the authorities didn't take his abuse seriously before--maybe this baby's life could have been saved.
Father charged in baby's murder
Updated: Sunday, 25 Oct 2009, 8:28 PM EDT
Published : Sunday, 25 Oct 2009, 2:31 PM EDT
Clearwater - Police say when Veronica Portal ran from her Clearwater apartment Saturday night, she was running from her abuser, her baby’s father.
She may have managed to escape, but their 5-week-old baby, Anthony, was still inside.
“It’s tearing me apart just knowing that I can look across the street and see the house and it’s like ugh, this is where it happened,” offered neighbor Natalie Beish.
Beish saw the commotion, but didn’t realize what happened until daylight Sunday.
Police say after Veronica fled, Jose Ruiz-Lopez shook little Anthony until he hit his head against the tile floor.
Eventually, Veronica came back, the two called 911, but it was already too late.
Relative Guillermo Flores says family and friends are shaken up and confused.
“She (Veronica) called me this morning and told me what happened with the baby, but I have no idea what happened,” according to Flores.
Records from 2008 show Ruiz-Lopez had been arrested for domestic abuse before, but for some reason those charges were dropped.
Sunday morning a Pinellas County judge denied bond for Ruiz-Lopez. He’s now charged with second degree murder in the death of his own 5-week-old son.
In the past year, staff members at domestic abuse shelters across the country say they’ve been working overtime. Domestic violence is still a very large problem, particularly in a tough economy.
Sunday, Ruiz-Lopez told the judge he was out of work.
Neighbors say the couple hadn’t been in their Clearwater apartment long and no one knew them very well. Know them or not, the death of an innocent child is tough for anyone to stomach.
“It just breaks my heart that someone could do that to a baby,” added Beish.
Ruiz-Lopez remains in jail Sunday night in Pinellas County without bond.