Bail was set at $15,000 Wednesday for a Belgrade man accused of breaking his 3-month-old baby’s arm.
Trevor Jackson Hale, 20, is charged with felony assault on a minor. He appeared in Gallatin County Justice Court before Judge Rick West.
On Tuesday around 5:30 p.m., a Belgrade officer responded to Bozeman Health Urgent Care for a report of an infant being treated for a broken arm, according to charging documents. The baby was eventually taken by ambulance to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital because of the severity of her injury.
A nurse and physician assistant told the officer that the infant’s father, Trevor, was acting “nervous and unusual” when he and the infant’s mother, Ashley, brought the baby in, court documents say. They told officers that Trevor gave inconsistent statements about how the infant’s arm broke, but indicated that the baby’s arm may have become stuck in a lap belt used to strap her into a bouncer.
The two told the officer that Trevor did not describe any trauma that would result in the injury, and that a significant amount of force was needed to break the baby’s arm, court documents say.
Ashley told the Belgrade officer and a detective that her baby was fine when she left for work at 9 a.m. About four hours later, she told officers, the baby screamed when she picked her up from the crib and she noticed that the infant was unable to use her right arm.
Trevor was taken to the Law and Justice Center for further questioning.
Trevor told officers that he placed the baby in a bouncer near the kitchen where he was washing dishes. He maintained he did not know how the infant broke her arm, but removed her from the bouncer when he heard her cry, court documents say.
When the baby stopped crying, he said, he placed her in the crib until Ashley came home and picked the infant up. He and Ashley then took the baby to the hospital.
Asked about his statements that the baby’s arm may have gotten stuck in the bouncer’s strap, Trevor said that might have been how the infant broke her arm, court documents say.
The officer told Trevor he did not believe the baby could break her own arm. Police said in charging documents that Trevor provided alternative scenarios like her arm may have gotten stuck under his when he picked her up or that her arm hit the bouncer when he took her out of it.
A doctor who evaluated the baby told the officer that the infant could not have broken her arm when becoming entangled in the bouncer’s strap, court documents say. The doctor also said the baby could not generate enough force to break her own arm from hitting it on the side of the bouncer.
If convicted, Trevor could face up to a $50,000 fine and up to 40 years in prison.