Local man charged in beating of infant boy

Police: Child sustained punctured lung, lacerated liver because he was crying

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

Sept. 4, 2008 - A Sulphur Springs man, 23, was jailed Wednesday on first-degree felony charges for causing serious bodily injury to his girlfriend's 6-month-old child in August.

Aramis Diaz Lausell, who police say also goes by the name Aramis Lausell Diaz, is alleged on Aug. 3 to have broken several of the baby boy's ribs, causing abdominal bleeding, a lacerated liver and a punctured lung.

Diaz is accused of punching the child in the stomach, then squeezing him in an attempt to get the infant to be quiet, according to Sulphur Springs Police Lt. Investigator Rusty Stillwagoner.

Police first became involved in the case after the infant had to be flown by medical helicopter from the emergency room at Hopkins County Memorial Hospital to Children's Medical Center in Dallas due to the severity of his injuries.

Child Protective Services was alerted by a Children's Medical Center doctor, who noted following an initial assessment of the baby that child abuse was suspected as the cause of the injuries.

CPS officials, in turn, contacted Sulphur Springs Police Department, where officers then opened an investigation into the allegations.

Police talked to the child's mother as well as her live-in boyfriend and several other people who'd had contact with the child prior to the injuries. The investigators learned the mother left the infant with the boyfriend at a South Moore Street residence for less than an hour Aug. 3. When she returned, she noted the child exhibiting strange or difficult breathing, and she took her son to the emergency room.

Doctors' reports specified that the medical findings "indicate significant trauma just prior to medical care."

"In other words, just prior to the baby going to the hospital," Stillwagoner said.

The mother was eventually ruled out as a suspect, making the boyfriend the prime suspect, who was questioned again.

During an interview Wednesday, Stillwagoner said, Diaz confessed that he "struck him several times in the abdomen with a closed fist and squeezed him" to silence the baby's cries.

Diaz was arrested on the first-degree felony charge of serious bodily injury to a child. He remained in the county jail at lunch Thursday in lieu of $100,000 bond set by Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Yvonne King, who arraigned him this morning.

The infant, who is expected to recover from the injuries, is currently under the care of CPS. The mother has been barred from seeing the child during the investigation, a standard policy of CPS.

Whether the child will be returned to its mother or the mother allowed visitation with the baby will be up to CPS, according to Stillwagoner.

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