WILLIAMSON — A man accused of viciously biting his 10-month-old stepson is facing a felony charge after police say hospital personnel notified the police about the child's injuries.
West Virginia State Police Senior Trooper C.A. Douglas said now 20-year-old Bobby Lee Thomas, of Gilbert, is charged with one count of child abuse resulting in injury.
Douglas said Senior Trooper J. D. Matheny, of the Williamson Detachment, was dispatched to the South Williamson Appalachian Regional Hospital after the child was taken there for medical treatment and that's when he learned what had transpired.
Douglas said the mother transported the child to ARH when she observed what appeared to be multiple bite marks on the toddler.
"The mom told Trooper Matheny that she was upstairs when she heard the baby crying, she ran downstairs and saw her husband holding the baby," Douglas said. "She saw the bite marks on the child, threw him out of the house, and called her parents to transport them to the hospital."
Douglas said ARH personnel contacted the State Police detachment when it became obvious the child had sustained four bite marks; one on the left knee, the left elbow, the left big toe and the right hand.
When he arrived on scene, police said, Matheny observed the injuries and severe bruising on the 10-month-old which was consistent with bite marks.
During the course of the investigation, Matheny developed probable cause to arrest the child’s step-father, he said.
"It is believed that Thomas bit the child in an attempt to keep him from crying further," Douglas said. "Senior Trooper Matheny spoke with Thomas and after advising him of his Miranda Rights, the defendant admitted that he caused and inflicted the injuries."
Thomas was arrested for the felony offense and arraigned in Mingo County Magistrate Court. If convicted, he faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $1,000 fine.
Thomas is free on a $30,000 bond while awaiting a preliminary hearing.
The incident remains under investigation by Matheny.