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Duncan Man Charged with Child Abuse

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DUNCAN Okla_ A three-month-old baby from Duncan is fighting for his life Wednesday in an Oklahoma City hospital. His father is not by his side; instead, he's in jail.

32-year-old Ricky Torrez was charged Wednesday with one count of child abuse by injury. Torrez allegedly hit the baby's head against a changing table in his home. The baby, who suffered a skull fracture, was originally listed in critical condition. At last check, he has improved to serious condition.  

7News found out the baby was not taken to the hospital right away.  Police said the injury occurred sometime Saturday morning, but the infant wasn't admitted to Duncan Regional until Sunday.

The baby's mother told investigators she first realized her son wasn't feeling well Saturday afternoon, but Sunday morning, things were much worse. So, she took him to the emergency room.

"The child was not acting right, had thrown up several times, and she knew something was wrong," Stephens County District Attorney Jason Hicks said.

Hicks couldn't go into great detail about the injuries, but he did give some information.

"He suffered injuries to the back of his head, some trauma on the inside of his head and to his eyes," Hicks said. "According to the affidavit, the baby's mother left the house Saturday morning to run errands, leaving the 3-month-old boy and a 2-year-old girl in their father, Ricky's care."

Hicks said she was only gone a little over an hour, but it was enough time for the injury to occur.

"Torrez forcefully slammed the child in a changing table," Torrez said.

When first questioned, Torrez told authorities he had put the baby in a jumper, and the two-year-old had possibly hit the baby with a toy vacuum during that time. Investigators say it was only after more questions that Torrez admitted to "placing" the baby on the table too hard but couldn't really explain why.

"There was a little bit of an explanation that he was frustrated with the two-year-old," Hicks said. "Beyond that, there was no other explanation."

Hicks said frustration is never a reason to hurt children and has one piece of advice to keep situations like this from happening:

"Call somebody and walk away from the situation," Hicks said. "Have somebody come watch the kids and get away for a little while."

Torrez is in jail on $500,000 bond. His wife is telling investigators his actions were completely out of the ordinary. She described him as a good father. Both were very caring and loving to the children.

Wednesday, we learned Duncan police are investigating yet another possible child abuse case in the area. They would not release much information, but they said it had to do with an 8-year-old boy.

We will continue to follow that situation and bring you updates just as soon as we have them.

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