Charges: Father nearly killed infant son with ketamine, opiates

TACOMA, Wash. -- A 34-year-old Tacoma resident was arrested Thursday after nearly killing his 5-month-old son with a dose of ketamine and opiates during a fight with his wife back in February, according to charges filed in Pierce County Superior Court.

According to the charging documents, Scott Rasmus and his wife got into a fight during the night of Feb. 8 while Rasmus was setting up a new TV, and Rasmus ordered his wife to get out of the house and leave their infant child behind.

Rasmus' wife later told detectives Rasmus suffers from PTSD, uses alcohol and drugs, and has assaulted her in the past. She left the house and spent the night with a friend.

According to the charging documents, Rasmus called his wife the next morning and screamed at her to come home, get their son and follow his rules or he would file for divorce.

Rasmus' wife returned to the house to find it a mess. Things, including the new TV, were broken, and stuffed animals had been strewn around their son's room.

According to the charging documents, the child was still in his crib, but his face was blue and his eyes were rolled back.

Around the same time, Tacoma Police Department officers arrived at the house because Rasmus reported the car his wife left in the night before stolen. Officers later said the child was unconscious, limp and struggling to breath. They were afraid he was going to die.

Medics arrived and rushed the child to Mary Bridge Hospital, where doctors reportedly found him with two fractured ribs and visible injuries to his face and torso. He would later test positive for opiates and ketamine, which a doctor said would have had to have been administered to him, and his baby bottle would test positive for ketamine and ethanol.

According to the charging documents, Rasmus denied any wrongdoing, and the investigation continued into April as the child recovered and was placed into protective custody.

A friend who was at Rasmus' house the night of the incident reportedly told detectives both Rasmus and his wife injected themselves with ketamine at that time. Rasmus' wife has a prescription for ketamine to treat her bipolar disorder.

The friend later went back on that, telling detectives he couldn't remember when they took the ketamine. But, he did say he got a call from Rasmus the following morning stating, "I guess I'm going to jail," according to the charging documents.

A warrant was issued for Rasmus' arrest, and he was booked into Pierce County Jail Thursday. On Friday, Rasmus pleaded not guilty to spiking his son's bottle with ketamine.

Rasmus has also been charged unlawful possession of a firearm. He has a previous conviction for attempting to elude police in 2008 and is not allowed to possess a firearm. According to the charging documents, there were two guns in the house at the time of the incident, and Rasmus' friend said there were always guns out and unsecured in the home.