A Roswell man was arrested Monday on a child abuse charge for allegedly causing a severe head injury to his 1-month-old son.

Jacob Martinez, 20, is charged with abuse of child resulting in great bodily harm, a first degree felony. Bond was set at $150,000 Monday in Chaves County Magistrate Court. Assistant District Attorney Taina L. Colon filed a motion Tuesday for an expedited pretrial detention hearing, citing that Martinez is a danger to the community and a flight risk. Martinez does not have a prior criminal record.

According to court records, Martinez told police the baby was asleep in a car seat when he and the mother returned to their Roswell home after having lunch Monday at a local restaurant. They left the infant in the seat, and the mother and the couple’s 3-year-old child left soon after to go shopping.

Martinez initially told police that around 4 p.m., the infant started making gasping sounds and when he removed him from the car seat, his body was limp. He called the mother, who said she would return home, and her mother told Martinez to call 911 if he thought it was an emergency.

Martinez called 911 at approximately 5:15 p.m. and was advised to start CPR. An ambulance arrived and transported the infant to a local hospital where he was stabilized and then flown to a Lubbock, Texas hospital.

Doctors at the Texas hospital found the infant had a brain bleed on both sides of the brain and a skull fracture on the right side, with the emergency room doctor advising that kind of injury would be caused by blunt force, according to court documents.

Police further questioned both parents, and Martinez initially told a detective he had placed the infant on the couch to change his diaper and he fell off when Martinez moved away to get the diaper bag and again when he went to the kitchen to prepare a bottle. 

The mother told the investigator the baby was not yet rolling over on his own, however, according to court documents.

According to the court documents, Martinez was questioned again and told the investigator he was frustrated the infant would not take a bottle and that he slapped the infant in the head.

According to the court documents, a physical examination of the infant at the Texas hospital found other injuries. The infant’s condition is not known.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.