Numidia man charged in assault of 2-month-old son
NUMIDIA - A 25-year-old Numidia man with a history of child abuse has been charged with assaulting his 2-month-old son who suffered multiple fractures and bruises in October at the defendant's residence.
Matthew J. Sacks, of 909 Numidia Drive, faces three felony counts each of aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children, and three misdemeanor counts each of simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.
The charges were filed by Locust Township Patrolman Nicholas Thorpe on Thursday afternoon at the Catawissa office of Magisterial District Judge Craig Long, where Sacks is scheduled to be arraigned at 10 a.m. today.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, Columbia County Children and Youth Services contacted police Oct. 18 about the suspected abuse of the victim who had been taken to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville at about 11 p.m. Oct. 17 after having difficulty eating.
Upon admission, hospital staff examined the infant and discovered bruises on the infant's left forearm, right palm, left thigh, right leg, left upper eyelid and left upper ear. He also had a small laceration near the left ear, a lesion on a piece of skin that attaches the upper lip to the gums, a fracture of the left distal clavicle, a fractured rib and a spiral fracture of the right tibia.
Police said the child was released from the hospital Oct. 20 and placed in protective custody. He is currently in foster care.
Through their investigation, police learned that Sacks admitted to abusing his 4-month-old daughter from a previous marriage several years ago. His daughter suffered a fractured left fibula, a torn frenulum and seven fractured left ribs.
Casey Price, the mother of the 2-month-old victim, told police Oct. 19 that Sacks has violent tendencies and trouble controlling his anger. Price said she witnessed Sacks scream at the infant and punch holes in household objects numerous times while holding the child. She also witnessed Sacks shoving a pacifier and bottle into the infant's mouth with force that could cause injury, police said.
She said the infant was born premature with a low birth weight.
Price said Sacks became easily frustrated with the child and screamed that he hated the boy.
Price said she often rushes in to take the child when Sacks treats the baby inappropriately and that his actions have caused her to fear for the child's safety.
During an Oct. 29 interview with police, Sacks claimed he usually puts the baby in his swing or gives him to another family member when he gets frustrated. He said he also goes outside at times and screams to vent his frustrations. He admitted screaming at the infant when he cries a lot, but said he would never intentionally hurt the boy and attempts to be gentle with him.
When questioned about the child's bruises, Sacks said the injuries showed up since he was born and released from the hospital. Sacks admitted scooping up the child under the arms with his hands behind the infant's back and grabbing the child by the feet and pulling him down into a laying position in his arms.
Sacks admitted holding the child down at times when changing his diaper to keep him still.
After witnessing Sacks demonstrate the way he picks up and holds the child, police said the infant could have been injured if too much force was extended in a violent manner.
Police said the bruises and fractures suffered by the child are not consistent with non-accidental injuries and believe Sacks recklessly caused the injuries.