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Thu, Sept. 19

Cottonwood man arrested on charges of abusing an infant

Yavapai County Sheriff's deputies arrested a man Tuesday on charges of child abuse after doctors found a baby boy had multiple prior fractures in various states of healing as they treated him for a broken arm at Verde Valley Medical Center.

A deputy booked Johan Mikkel Wall, 22, of Cottonwood, into the Yavapai County Jail in Camp Verde on two counts of child abuse per domestic violence and one count of cruelty to animals.

Walls remains in custody on a $25,000 bond, said Dwight D'Evelyn, spokesman for the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office.

At 9:45 p.m. on Sunday, deputies learned a severely injured 4-month-old baby had been taken for further treatment at Phoenix Children's Hospital after doctors at Verde Valley Medical Center treating the boy for a possible broken right arm found multiple prior fractures in various states of healing, D'Evelyn said.

Deputies interviewed the baby's mother and her boyfriend, also the baby's father, about the 4-month-old's injuries, D'Evelyn said.

Later that evening, a detective from the Criminal Investigations Bureau learned that that on Saturday, Wall was home with his infant son when the baby fell from a portable child swing/cradle unit, striking his head on a hard plastic object.

The baby had not been buckled into the swing and fell at least a foot, and afterward Wall jerked the baby up by his right arm, causing an injury that later required surgery, D'Evelyn said.

Detectives also learned about an injury that occurred three weeks earlier where Wall pinched the baby's feet together while changing his diaper, then shoved the baby's legs downward while swearing at the baby, D'Evelyn said.

Imaging tests at the hospital showed fractures to both of the baby's legs and one rib, indicating they were over seven days old and in the healing process, D'Evelyn said.

Tests also showed the baby had bleeding in the cranial cavity and swelling to the right arm, D'Evelyn said.

During the investigation, detectives learned Wall became angry and after picking up the family's 4-month-old puppy, threw it to the ground in September 2010, D'Evelyn said.

An exam by a veterinarian showed a bone in the puppy's right shoulder had been fractured, but the veterinarian had not been told how the injury happened.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. If you suspect a child is being abused, immediately contact Children Protective Services at 1-888-SOS-CHILD (1-888-767-2445). Learn more about child abuse prevention at www.pcaaz.gov, www.yfac.com and www.phoenixchildrens.com.

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