ELKTON — A man remained jailed without bond Thursday after he allegedly punched his 3-year-old son several times and smothered him inside their home because the boy was crying at bedtime, according to Cecil County District Court records.
Elkton Police Department detectives arrested the suspect — Brandon Todd Shepard, 29, of the 300 block of Landing Lane — on Wednesday, after an investigation that also involved Cecil County Child Protective Services.
During a police interview, Shepard told EPD detectives that he “snapped” while disciplining his son and that he “felt bad for how he handled the situation,” court records show.
Shepard’s girlfriend, Carrie Evans, provided investigators with a video of the alleged attack, according to court records. In his written statement of probable cause, the arresting officer, EPD Cpl. Joshua Leffew, frequently references the audiovisual content of the footage, including Shepard telling the boy, “I hope it (expletive) hurts you little (expletive),” one of several remarks he allegedly uttered to the child during the incident.
Court records do not identify the person who took the video, nor do they explain the circumstances surrounding that recording.
Doctors at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del. examined the boy Wednesday, according to court records, which also indicate, “Photos were taken on this date which show significant bruising, redness and abrasions to his back, legs, face, neck and chest.”
Information regarding the child’s medical condition was unavailable, as of late Thursday afternoon.
EPD detectives launched their investigation Wednesday, after receiving a referral from CPS agents, police reported.
CPS agents summarized that Shepard assaulted his son inside the boy’s bedroom at the Landing Lane residence after the child had been crying for several minutes and that “immediately following the assault on (the boy), Carrie Evans, the girlfriend of Brandon Shepard, was locked in a bedroom against her will,” court records show.
The video first shows Shepard entering the bedroom where his crying son is on a bed, according to Leffew’s statement of probable cause.
Shepard entered the room in a rage, jumped on the bed, knocking his son over and smacking the child in the head with his open hand, according to court records. He then punched the boy approximately seven times with closed fists in the upper chest and face area, which is seen on the video, police report.
At that point, according to the charging document, the video shows Shepard covering the child’s mouth with his left hand, muffling the boy’s cries and causing his son to take a “deep breath as if oxygen has been restricted.”
Court records also allege that the video then shows Shepard backhand the boy in the face and punch him in the stomach, before laying on top of the child in a manner that muffles his son’s cries and smothers him. Investigators note in court records that Shepard is 6’4” and weighs 205 pounds.
The boy can be seen in the video flailing in silence due to a perceived inability to breathe while Shepard continues to strike the boy with an open hand and closed fist, police reported.
After punching his son in the body, Shepard grabbed the boy’s head and manipulated it to the point that he and the child were face to face and then Shepard said, “Do I make myself clear?” court records allege.
The video indicates that Shepard made several other comments to his son during the alleged assault, according to court records. The list of Shepard’s comments to his son includes, “You did it to yourself. Stop being a little (expletive) and this will stop,” and “This attitude that you’re pulling, I am done with it, understand? If this does not (expletive) change, you’re going to be hurting a whole hell of a lot boy,” court records allege.
At the end of his statement of probable cause, Leffew reports, “Also noteworthy is the fact that (Shepard) has legal court appointed custody" of the boy.
Shepard is charged with first-degree child abuse resulting in severe physical injury, second-degree custodial child abuse, first-degree assault, reckless endangerment and three other related offenses, according to court records.
Scheduled for an Aug. 26 preliminary hearing, Shepard remained in the Cecil County Detention Center without bond Thursday night, after his bail review hearing earlier that day, court records show.