A 24-year-old Seattle man is facing felony charges following allegations that he punched his 2-year-old son so hard the blow stopped the child's heart.
King County prosecutors say that, two days before he was scheduled to report to jail on a burglary conviction, Ashton Bernard Smith struck his child in the chest with such force the toddler's heart stopped.
According to charging documents, police and medics went to Smith's North Seattle home on Feb. 6 after Smith called 911 to report that his 2-year-old was not breathing. Medics arriving at the apartment found the child in cardiac arrest but were able to revive the boy.
Doctors at Children's Hospital determined that the child's heart had stopped due to a blow to the chest, according to charging documents.
"The doctors reported that the blow would be harder than one reasonably used for physical discipline such as spanking," Seattle Detective Donna Stangeland said in court documents.
The child remained hospitalized in the days following the incident but was expected to be released, according to court documents. His brain was injured
, Stangeland told the court, though whether that injury is permanent remains to be seen.
Speaking to police, Smith initially claimed he struck the child after he found his son was having difficulty breathing, Stangeland said. Smith later admitted to slapping the boy with an open hand, the detective said.
"Ashton Smith stated that he did this to discipline (the boy) for not going to sleep," Stangeland said in court documents. "Smith stated, 'So I popped him in his chest with my open hand and then he couldn't breathe any more I guess.'"
The child's mother allegedly told police Smith had punched the boy twice before. <--kill her stupid ass too. useless cunt
Smith had been scheduled to turn himself in to King County Jail on Feb. 8 to serve a nine-month jail term for burglary and trafficking stolen property.
In that case, according to court records, Smith was arrested following several sales of stolen goods.
At the time, police contend he was driving a car that was involved in a drive-by shooting weeks before. Officers noted bullet damage on the roof of the car; Smith's then-16-year-old passenger, Darereon Newton, has since been convicted of first-degree assault in the shooting and sentenced to a nine-year prison term.
Smith has been charged with first-degree assault of a child. He remains confined at King County Jail.