Man arrested for allegedly assaulting 5-week-old baby

EVERETT, Wash. -- An Everett man was arrested Thursday for allegedly assaulting his 5-week-old baby girl, leaving her in serious condition with likely brain damage and vision impairment.

According to probable-cause documents, 18-year-old Tyler Washington and the baby's mother called 911 Wednesday when their daughter was acting lethargic and having trouble breathing.

The baby was brought into Providence before being transferred to Seattle Children's Hospital with a skull fracture, bleeding and swelling in the brain, and two fractured ribs.

Children's Hospital called the Everett Police Department because Washington and the mother's explanations for their baby's injuries were suspicious.

According to police, Washington originally said he was holding the baby when she bumped her head on his chin. He reportedly said she started having trouble breathing a few minutes later.

Washington later changed his story, telling officers he had been shaking the baby once or twice a week since she was two weeks old because she was fussy and wouldn't stop crying, according to police. He also reportedly admitted to squeezing her hard enough to break her ribs and accidentally hitting her head against a wall.

Washington's mother defended her son to KOMO News.

"He's so gentle, he would do anything for that baby to protect her," she said. "It's so heartbreaking. I know my son and I know he's never gonna hurt the baby."

According to the probable-cause documents, the baby is currently being fed through tubes and taking anti-seizure medication. She will likely require long-term rehabilitation.

Meanwhile, Washington was ordered held on $150,000 bail on a charge of first degree assault on a child.