Police arrest man for assaulting infant son

January 28, 2014

By Peter Clark

Issaquah police arrested a 36-year-old Issaquah man Jan. 6 on suspicion of assaulting his 6-week-old son. King County Superior Court has since charged him with second-degree assault of a child, a class B felony.

James Sells and his wife originally brought their son into Swedish/Issaquah with a skull fracture. The infant was later transported to Seattle Children’s due to the seriousness of the child’s injuries. Doctors treated the baby for skull fractures and possible brain trauma, and determined the cause was abuse, according to a news release from Issaquah police.

A social worker at Seattle Children’s contacted Issaquah police on Jan. 3, when the suspicious injuries were discovered. The infant was treated for two skull fractures, brain swelling and bruising.

Sells “admitted he bounced the victim very aggressively out of anger, frustration and being tired,” according to Issaquah Detective Brian Horn’s certification of probable cause. “He admitted he had two drinks during the incident. He admitted that he slapped the victim across the face. He admitted he covered the victim’s face and mouth with his hand in an intentional manner to smother and muffle his cries, again out of frustration.”

Police did not see evidence of past violent behavior from Sells.

“There was not information that anything had happened prior to that injury,” Issaquah Cmdr. Stan Conrad said.

The couple’s children were taken into protective custody by law enforcement and are living with a family member. The infant has since been released from the hospital.

King County Superior Court set Sells’ bail at $150,000, which he posted Jan. 17. If convicted, Sells could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.


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