Police are searching for a Federal Way man who was charged with fracturing his 9-month-old son’s skull, causing a brain bleed when the baby wouldn’t take a nap on Aug. 25.
Thomas Ray Sims, 33, was charged with assault of a child in the first and third degree on Thursday in King County Superior Court. His bail was set at $500,000 based on the likelihood that Sims will commit a violent offense, according to prosecutors. Sims was also involved in a domestic violence incident on July 5, when he hit his infant son’s head on a refrigerator.
Police believe Sims fled the state to Nevada. He also has friends and family in Texas and Pennsylvania.
Prosecutors believe Sims injured the infant in anger and frustration about the baby not taking a nap. Sims’ girlfriend, who had a domestic violence no-contact order against him for the previous incident, told police she was in the kitchen washing dishes when she heard him tell their son to lay down in his pack and play on Aug. 25. She again heard him tell the baby, who was teething, to lie down in an angry tone, before the baby cried suddenly and loudly and then went silent, according to court documents.
Sims brought the limp baby out of the bedroom and his girlfriend called 911.
At St. Francis Hospital, doctors determined that the infant was in extremely critical condition with a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain that required surgery. A doctor determined that the injuries were most likely caused by an impact and/or shake.
While the baby is currently in stable condition, his prognosis is uncertain, according to court documents. Medical providers indicated he will likely require years of therapy and the injuries he sustained are life altering.
During the investigation, Sims told police that the baby woke up from a nap crying on Aug. 25 and Sims thought he had a bad dream. He patted the baby, telling him it was alright and the baby calmed down and went back to sleep. He claims the baby then woke up again with another horrible cry, and the baby’s body went rigid when Sims picked him up.
Sims told police that he knows there are sick people but that he wasn’t one of them. He said he would never hurt his child and that “it makes sense to hurt a child that doesn’t belong to [him]” but not his “own blood,” according to court documents.
Sims then said that he was going to be honest with detectives and that if he had maliciously hurt his son, he is “a man … [and that he would] take [his] lumps for it.”
He admitted that he gets frustrated with his kids, but said he would never hurt them.
In a separate interview, Sims’ girlfriend told police that he did not show up to the hospital until about an hour later the day their son was injured. She learned from his friend that Sims smoked marijuana with him before he went to the hospital to check on his son. She related that she believes Sims didn’t want to come to the hospital because he had a guilty conscience.
She said she has previously witnessed Sims be aggressive when he put the baby to to sleep. She related that Sims has forced the baby to lie down and that when he sat up, Sims pushed his head down.
In addition, the girlfriend told police that Sims has taunted the baby with his food or bottle, withholding it and telling the infant that he wasn’t going to get the bottle until he stopped crying.
She also relayed how he “beat the sh** out of” his son from another relationship who came to visit them. On one occasion, he “just started whipping him with a belt” after the child ate licorice. Sims also allegedly hit him in the face and “busted his whole mouth open,” according to the girlfriend.
During child forensic interviews with the girlfriend’s children, who have a different father, the children disclosed that Sims was physically abusive. One of the children also heard Sims “whooping” the baby’s head, and slapping him about 12 times as the baby screamed on one occasion.
The child told detectives that Sims sometimes hit the baby’s head on a door frame, a hinge and window frames. The child said she witnessed Sims hit her sibling with a belt after the child spilled formula on the floor.
Sims was initially booked at SCORE jail on Aug. 26 for the misdemeanor order violation but was later released. He failed to appear at Federal Way Municipal Court for a hearing on Sept. 9.
Detectives accessed his jail calls, in which he told friends that the day he got out of jail he was leaving Washington and would fight this case from Las Vegas.