A Gilbert man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of severely injuring his 3-month-old son, according to Maricopa County Superior Court records.
Nathan Clapp, 36, is accused of inflicting suspicious injuries on the infant, including seven fractured ribs, head bleeding, lacerated liver and fluid in the lungs, according to court documents.
Officials said a social worker at Cardon Children's Medical Center in Mesa reported the injuries to Gilbert police on Aug. 12.
Clapp told authorities the injuries were probably from him rolling over on the baby during a nap, the court documents said.
He continued to stick with this claim even after his arrest, officials said.
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Court documents said Clapp claimed one morning he returned home at 6 a.m., after a long two consecutive days of work and took a nap with the child. He woke to the victim crying and thought he had possibly rolled over onto the victim, the court documents said.
According to the court documents, Clapp said there may have been another incident that had caused the baby's injuries.
He said a few days later, he tripped over a chair with the baby in his arms and fell on his left knee and elbow. He said the baby did not touch the ground.
An investigation of Clapp's text messages to his girlfriend showed that Clapp was frustrated with his son's crying and fussiness that week, according to the court documents.
One text from Clapp said this was the type of thing that makes a parent hurt their child, the court documents said.
Clapp lived in Gilbert with his girlfriend and had primary custody of his son.
Clapp's girlfriend had just gone back to work after maternity leave and Clapp was in charge of caring for the 3-month-old, according to court documents.
Clapp was in charge of the victim around the same time the victim suffered the injuries.
The court documents also said that Clapp's claims were not consistent with the doctor's findings.
According to the doctor, the broken ribs could only be caused by an intense squeezing of the chest or blunt force, the court documents said. In addition, the head bleeding was most likely caused by rotational movements of the head, the court documents said.
The doctor also said that bruises on the baby were not matching up with Clapp's stories, according to the court documents.
Clapp was arrested and continued to stick with his original story of rolling onto his son while napping, officials said.
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