Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dad charged with battering 3-month-old son now on life support (Chattanooga, Tennessee)

What happened to the mother of these children???

Notice that there is absolutely no mention of a mother in the home or elsewhere. There is mention of CPS removing the children from the father's home and putting them in "state protective custody."

Which suggests that CHRISTOPHER LEE HARGIS may be a single custodial dad. Wonder how and why? Is Mom deceased or "missing"? What?

Abused Rossville baby clings to life; father charged

by Matt Ledger Oct 03, 2013

A Rossville man is charged with abusing his infant son who, less than three months after being born, has been hospitalized since Sept. 12, unresponsive and on life support, in the intensive care unit of Children’s Hospital in Chattanooga.

Christopher Lee Hargis, 34, who lists his address as being in the 400 block of West Gordon Avenue, was arrested Sept. 30 and now is charged with aggravated battery and cruelty to children.

The arrest was made after emergency room personnel notified local authorities that the child had “several broken bones and other serious injuries,” Rossville police chief Sid Adams said.

The infant had fractures to both legs, multiple broken ribs, bilateral retinal hemorrhaging (bleeding retinas) to both eyes and a subdural hematoma, according to investigator Dave Scroggins.

“All of those combined injuries make abuse a certainty,” Scroggins said. “ Sufficient evidence points toward (Hargis).”

Rossville police responded to the initial medical call of a respiratory arrest at noon on Sept. 12, performed CPR until medics took over and placed the baby on life supports and rushed him to T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital at Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga.

Hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Homa said that as of noon on Thursday, Oct. 3, the child remains in “critical condition.”

Initial X-rays taken to determine proper placement of a ventilator tube showed the baby had several broken ribs despite no external bruising being visible, according to Scroggins.

The following day further tests, administered due to suspicions of abuse, determined there were leg fractures and other injuries.

“The indications are that the injuries occurred immediately prior to the child’s respiratory arrest,” Scroggins said.

Two days after the original call to 911, investigators coordinated with the Walker County Department of Family and Children’s Services to remove three other children living with Hargis, and place them in state protective custody.

The investigation is ongoing due to the child’s condition and additional charges may be filed, officials said.

Hargis did not confess to beating his infant son, and detective Scroggins could not give further details on the evidence linking Hargis to the injuries.

Chief magistrate judge Sheila Thompson approved a $25,000 bond for Hargis, with conditions that he is to have no contact with any of his children.

Hargis, who has no previous record of arrests in Walker County, was released from jail the following day, Oct. 1, after his bond was posted by Huckabee Bonding.