A Missouri man is in jail after being accused of assaulting his girlfriend's 4-year-old child, according to police.
Brian Escobar, 25, of Independence, Missouri, has been arrested and charged with felony child abuse for allegedly spanking, slapping, and grabbing his girlfriend's young son while babysitting the child on Oct. 13, according to court documents cited by KSHB 41 Action News.
The boy's mother, Kaly Morgan, told Fox 4 News that she left her 4-year-old son, Kodah, in Escobar's care for about five hours on Oct. 13 while she worked. When Morgan returned home, she noticed that her son was stumbling and behaving strangely.
Morgan added that Kodah seemed very tired and disoriented.
"His eyes were drooping, he couldn’t walk straight, he looked very, very tired," Morgan said. "He couldn’t say his one two threes, he couldn’t say his ABCs."
When Morgan undressed her son to give him a bath, she discovered bruises and scrapes all over the child's body, legs, and head.
The woman said she immediately took her son to the emergency room and called the police. Officers responding to another reported assault in the area arrested Escobar at the woman's residence, KSHB 41 reported.
Kodah suffered a contusion to the head as well as bruises. The child reportedly said in the presence of a police officer at the hospital that "Bri Bri" had bonked him in the head.
When questioned by police, Escobar first said that he had only spanked the child once for not listening to his mother. However, he later admitted that he had spanked the child three times, grabbed his wrist, and hit him in the back of the head, according to court documents. Escobar also said during questioning that the child referred to him as "Bri Bri" or daddy.
The boy's mother reportedly called Escobar from the hospital and accused him of giving her son pills, which he denied, according to KSHB 41.
Escobar is currently being held at the Jackson County Jail on a $25,000 bond. He is due in court on Oct. 28.
Morgan said she loved and trusted her now-ex-boyfriend Escobar, and she is deeply pained by the situation.
"[Kodah] is suffering so much now because he is confused about why someone that loved him would do that to him. [Escobar] made all of that, everything he knew about love, be something painful," Morgan told Fox 4 News.
She added that her son is currently enrolled in a special needs program at his pre-school due to a speech impediment and high anxiety, and the abuse he allegedly suffered at Escobar's hands may aggravate the child's problems.
Morgan is seeking therapy for her son and herself following the incident.
Photo Credit: Jackson County Jail via KSHB 41 Action News