Father allegedly assaults infant son - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Father allegedly assaults infant son

By Taylor Hemness - bio | email

Shounda Lucas was the first person to see the injured infant after Justin Gehrke allegedly smashed the baby's head against the rail of his crib.

"I opened the door, and there he lays in his arms, not breathing," Lucas said.

Shounda lives next door, and is the cousin of the baby's mother. Gehrke brought the child to her, looking for help. He told Shounda that he'd found the baby in his crib, not breathing, and helped her while she tried to resuscitate the baby.

"When i said jump, he did," Lucas said. "He did exactly what I asked him to do."

The child's mother works weekends, but met the family at the hospital. By then, Justin had told police what actually happened.

"She was shocked, disbelief, didn't know what to think," Lucas said. "I could not believe a father could do this to his own child, and then, act like nothing had happened."

Shounda is a mother too, and says that Justin would often come and play with her kids. She says no one in the family could have seen this coming.

"You know, you hear of these stories, you see them on TV and the movies," Lucas said. "You never know or think that anything would happen to your family."

Now, instead of thinking about the man they thought they knew, Shounda says the family is focusing on the baby.

"I want everyone to pray for this baby," Lucas said. "He's getting stronger, he's looking around, he recognizes voices, and he's trying to move his little head."

The baby is still at Dallas Children's Hospital. Justin Gehrke's bond was set for 50 thousand dollars on the injury to a child charge, and another one thousand dollars was added on an assault warrant that had been previously filed against him.

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