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Man ‘snapped,’ broke child’s leg, then left the unconscious baby in the crib so he could eat dinner, affidavit says

Crime Watch

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MADISON COUNTY — A man charged with abusing his 11-month-old stepson originally told investigators that the injuries were an accident before confessing that he caused them.

That’s according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by

Agustin Rivera Jr., 31, is charged with one felony count of injury to child and is being held in the Madison County Jail on $250,000 bail.

Madison County Sheriff detectives were called to Madison Memorial Hospital on Nov. 25 after the child was admitted with a severely fractured left femur and several bruises on various parts of his body.

A nurse told one of the detectives that “there is no way this is not abuse” and an orthopedic surgeon reported that the injury was “significant and consistent with a very traumatic event,” according to the affidavit.

Medical personnel noted the boy’s left leg was “clearly deformed” and there were several bruises on his abdomen, left armpit and left rear side of his neck. Because of the severity of the injuries, the child was rushed immediately into surgery.

The boy’s mother told deputies that she had been making dinner and Rivera was with the baby in his room.

“When Agustin brought (the baby) out of his room, he was crying and Agustin told me that there was something wrong with (the baby’s) leg. She said they couldn’t figure out what was wrong and after speaking with her parents, they called 911,” the affidavit says.

A detective then met with Rivera, who initially made several denials about how the boy was injured.

“After several minutes of explaining the facts of (the baby’s) injuries, Agustin told me that he had pushed (the baby) off of his lap onto the floor,” court documents state. “Agustin said that at that time, he stood up to get a blanket and tripped – causing him to fall and land on (the baby’s) leg.”

Rivera told the detective he heard the leg “pop” and then “freaked out” before placing the child in the crib and leaving the room to eat dinner.

When he was finished eating, Rivera said he returned to the child’s room and saw he had a swollen leg. He carried his stepson to the baby’s mother and they called 911.

Deputies arrested Rivera on Nov. 25. The child was declared in imminent danger and placed into the custody of the Department of Health and Welfare.

On Monday, Nov. 26, a Madison County detective visited Rivera in the Madison County Jail and conducted a follow-up interview.

“Agustin ultimately admitted to me that he was upset with the baby due to his non-stop crying and that he ‘snapped and grabbed (the baby’s) leg and twisted and bent it backwards,’ causing the femur to fracture,” the affidavit says. “Agustin said after he heard the bone snap and the child lost consciousness, Agustin panicked, placed the child in the crib and left the room to eat. After finishing his dinner, he went back, seen the leg swelling and carried him out to show (the child’s mother the baby’s) leg. At which time, they called 911.”

Rivera and the child’s mother moved to Madison County from California in October so Rivera could begin a new job. He was arraigned Monday morning and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 5.

If found guilty, he could face up to ten years in prison.