GREENFIELD — A toddler brought to the hospital recently with a cut to his head and bruising on his face told doctors there his “daddy” had hurt him, court document state. Now, the man faces a pair of felony charges alleging child abuse.
Zachary Young, 23, of Greenfield faces one Level 3 felony count of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious injury and one Level 3 felony count of domestic battery resulting in serious injury, court records show. He was booked into the Hancock County Jail over the weekend and was being held there at press time on a $3,000 cash bond.
Police believe Young hit a 2-year-old child hard enough to leave a cut on the boy’s head and handprint-shaped mark on the boy’s face, according to charging documents. Doctors told police the injuries appeared to have been caused intentionally, records show.
The child’s mother brought him to Hancock Regional Hospital’s emergency room on Oct. 8 after she came home from work and saw the boy’s injuries.
The woman told police she’d left the child home alone with Young while she went to work. A few hours into her shift, Young contacted her to say the child had fallen and hit his head on a coffee table, and he texted her a photo of a gash on the boy’s head, court documents state.
The woman said she rushed home to see if the child was OK, and she decided to take the boy to the hospital to be checked by doctors, court documents state.
Once she arrived at the hospital, she also noticed redness on the little boy’s face that appeared to be in the shape of a hand, the woman told police. The mark spread along the left side of the child’s face and back to his inner ear, court documents state. In addition to the cut on the boy’s head, there was also a scratch and a bump on his forehead, court documents state.
Doctors at the hospital immediately contacted police because they were concerned the child had been abused, court documents state. When officers and representatives from the Indiana Department of Child Services arrived, the boy told them “‘daddy’ gave him his boo-boos,” court documents state.
The child’s injuries were photographed, and copies were sent to experts at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, records state. Those doctors told investigators “the injuries were an intentional slap mark and could not have been made by the child,” court documents state. They also told investigation the injury to child’s ear “could be either one hit or multiple hits,” court documents state.
Police visited Young’s home in Greenfield on Oct. 10 to photograph the living room, where he said the child was when the injuries occurred. Officers photographed the coffee table Young said the boy had hit his head on and photographed a rag they found in the kitchen that appeared to be covered with blood, court documents state.
Young was arrested Friday evening and appeared in Hancock County Superior Court 1 Monday, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges he faces.
Each count filed against Young carries a maximum potential penalty of 16 years in prison.