Harris Co. man accused of injuring newborn

August 11, 2010 4:13:11 PM PDT
A foster father accused of beating and abusing a one-month-old baby that was in his care says he is innocent. The accusations are disturbing, but the suspect says he has the real story. The newborn had been removed from its home because it was born with cocaine in its system. And the man who then accepted the responsibility of caring for that child -- the man trusted with the child's life -- was accused of the unimaginable within weeks.

Tahrick Perry has two children of his own and in November 2009 was fostering three others in his northwest Harris County home. One was a month-old baby boy.

"I'm scared. I'm nervous because I've never been in trouble with the law," Perry said.

According to court documents, he injured the child, striking, shaking and throwing him during a fit of rage.

"He suffered multiple skull fractures, multiple broken ribs and a broken leg as well," said Donna Hawkins with the Harris County District Attorney's office.

Court records indicate Perry's biological children told investigators they saw him "shake and throw the (baby) onto a bed and slap the (baby) in the face."

The children say their father also picked up the infant "by one arm and roll him on the bed like a ball."

They allege Perry was in a rage "because the (child) was crying." Perry says their words were taken out of context.

"They easily could be manipulated from an adult who's trying to get something from them," Perry said.

He tells a different story.

"So you never shook the child?" Eyewitness News asked Perry.

"No," he responded.

"Never threw the child?"

"No."

"Never hit the child?"

"No."

"Never slapped the child?"

"Nope. Nope. Nope."

Perry says the infant was knocked from a car seat, which was sitting on a carpeted floor and that another child fell on him. He notes that doctors said many of the injuries they found were in various stages of healing.

Since the baby just came to live in their home less than eight weeks prior, Perry insists he could not have caused all the injuries.

"How can you have an infant baby for one month and 25 days and you cause such dynamic damage and all these eyes -- nobody's seen it?" he said.

"Are you saying this happened before the child came to you?" we asked.

"I believe so, yes sir," he said.

What's more, Perry says he and his lawyer will argue that because the infant was born with drugs in his system, he could have poor bone density. That, he says, could be another way to explain this.

But CPS isn't buying that. They say doctors would have caught such trauma before the baby was placed with Perry. Whatever happened, they say, happened while the child was in his care.

"These children come from an abusive home," CPS Spokeswoman Estella Olguin said. "To then put them into another abusive home is a tragedy."

Perry is set to appear in court tomorrow and a trial date may be set. He could be sent to prison for life if convicted.


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