POLICE: Father, 20, Charged With Child Neglect

Thursday, June 12th 2014, 2:07 pm
By: News 9

A Midwest City man is charged with felony child neglect for leaving his 8-month-old son unattended in a bathtub. The child has suffered permanent brain damage from the ordeal.

Oklahoma City Police were called to the scene of a drowning at an apartment complex located near 8800 S. Drexel Ave. just before noon on May 23.

Once on scene officers made contact with the child's father, 20-year-old Zacary Anderson, who told them he found his son floating in the bathtub, unresponsive. Rescue crews already on scene worked to resuscitate and transport the child to the hospital.

About an hour after arriving officers interviewed Anderson again. Anderson told police that the child was waking up and was sweaty from being in his blankets, so he decided to give him a shower. Anderson told police he placed him into a little shower seat, but did not buckle him in when he is in the shower for no more than three to five minutes.

While he was giving him a shower, Anderson told police the child's older brother, 1, began throwing things at a friend he had over. He also told police that his friend brought his dog to the apartment and he did not want the dog jumping into the bathtub.

According to police, Anderson said he left the child in the tub and closed the door so he could deal with the one-year-old child. He said he got the older child into his highchair, started feeding him some applesauce, and lost track of time for a few minutes.

Anderson said he forgot the shower was running because he could not hear it with the door closed. He said when he did finally realize the shower was still going, he ran in to find his son lying unresponsive.

Anderson told police he had plugged the drain to let it rise to a certain point because he has toys that he plays with while he sits in the tub. When police asked Anderson how long he thought he left the baby alone in the tub he responded, "three to five minutes."

Later in the day, around 1:20 p.m., crime scene investigators arrived to process the scene. They measured the water level in the tub at the time of the incident, drained it, and the proceeded to recreate filling the water back to the measured level, which was just under the overflow drain.

Investigators say the time it took to recreate filling the tub was approximately 18 minutes and 14 seconds.

Anderson then told police that the tub was already an inch or two full when he left the baby in the tub, and when he returned it was just below the overflow drain on the tub.

So CSI investigators again recreated the filling. This time they placed a 21.1 pound bag of water in to simulate the amount of water a small child would displace. This time they say it took approximately 17 minutes and 20 seconds.

Investigators noted that the plastic chair Anderson said he placed the child in began to float at approximately eight minutes and 30 seconds and it completely overturned at the 12 minute mark.

Anderson was then taken into custody on one count of child neglect. Details on a possible bond have not been released at this time.