GRANTSVILLE, Utah — The father of a 1-year-old was arrested after the boy was found unconscious at their home with what appeared to be signs of extensive physical abuse, according to police.
An arrest report states that 44-year-old Aaron Michael Visser called 911 Friday evening to report that his son was unresponsive. He had begun CPR on the child, who was also not breathing, and first responders continued lifesaving efforts when they arrived. The child was taken to Mountain West Medical Center in Tooele, then airlifted to Primary Children's Hospital.
On Sunday, the Grantsville Police Department shared some unfortunate news about the baby's condition.
"We regret to announce that Medical doctors have informed our investigators that the child is on life support and is not likely to survive the injuries," the department wrote in a press release. "We wish to convey our sincerest condolences to the family."
Police began investigating Friday after the responding officers "immediately noticed signs of abuse." They documented numerous bruises all over the child's body, including his head and face. They also said the boy had small cuts in different areas and even some bite marks.
Hospital staff then assessed the baby and found that he had multiple internal injuries as well. These included a brain bleed, a freshly fractured rib, another fractured rib that was "in the stages of healing," and a bruised lung.
Police interviewed the boy's siblings, who told them Visser was abusive toward them, court documents state. The children said that on Friday, Visser was upset about being woken up by the 1-year-old and his twin brother, combined with their mother asking him to bring her something she needed at work.
During the interviews, police said one of the siblings "reported hearing a loud thud followed by the victim crying and then hearing their father's voice." Investigators were also told that "the victim is constantly getting injured while inside the master bedroom with the father and that the father has told them that the victim constantly falls off of the bed."
Police also interviewed Visser, and they said his account of how the boy received these injuries was inconsistent. He allegedly claimed that the siblings were rough with him and he fell down on his own while walking. Later, according to the arrest report, he said he was playing a game with the baby in which he tossed him on the bed but misjudged the distance, resulting in the child falling onto the floor.
"The victims injuries were both new and preexisting, which shows a pattern of extensive injuries the victim has received on multiple different occasions," the probable cause affidavit read. "Other juveniles within the home disclosed concerns over aggression and fear of Mr. Visser."
Visser was arrested on suspicion of felony aggravated child abuse. However, police said they expect him to be charged with child abuse homicide if the child dies from the injuries.
He was ordered to be held without bail.
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