LR man arrested on suspicion of abusing infant


Erik Hegwood, Photo Courtesy: Pulaski County Jail

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- A Little Rock man was arrested March 25 on suspicion of abusing an infant.

According to a report released Tuesday from Little Rock Police, Erik Hegwood is being held in the Pulaski County Jail on a first-degree battery charge.

According to the report, Juvenile Crimes detectives were told on March 25 that a five-week-old infant was admitted overnight at the PICU at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

In the report, detectives say the infant was suffering from cerebral contusions, retinal hemorrhages and had bruising and marks on both shoulders and its chin.

Officials say the only mechanism of injury they had been presented with was not sufficient enough to have caused the extensive injuries.

A doctor told detectives the infant was also suffering from cerebral swelling, which could result in a severe deficit in her neurological functioning later on and she had seizures.

The infant’s biological mother told detectives she worked all day on March 24 and the infant’s biological father, Erik Hegwood had been caring for her as well as their son.

The mother said when she woke up around 6 that morning, the infant was a little fussy, but she was able to get the infant calmed and get ready for work.

The mother said when she left around 6:45 that morning, everyone was asleep.

According to the report, the mother texted Erik Hegwood saying that the infant felt hot to her and to keep an eye on the infant’s temperature.

The mother told police that Erik Hegwood texted her sometime in the day, saying that he had sneezed and bumped heads with the infant, and the infant had a split lip.

The mother said when she got home around 5:30 that evening, the infant was making a screeching noise and was fussy.

According to the report, the mother said she thought the infant had an upset stomach, so she made the infant a warm bath. The mother said during the bath, she noticed the infant’s left eye was swollen and the other was “jumping” around, her head was shaking and she was not breathing right.

The mother said she took the infant to the emergency room at Baptist Hospital, and while she was placing her in the car seat, she noticed the infant’s pupil covered the colored part of her eye.

According to the report, Baptist Health immediately transferred the infant by ambulance to Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

The mother told detectives that the infant had an injury the previous week. The mother said Erik Hegwood texted her on March 17 saying he fell down the stairs outside their apartment building and then walked into the coffee table inside their home.

According to the report, detectives found Erik Hegwood at his home and took him to the 12th Street Station for questioning.

Detectives say Erik Hegwood told them he had been the sole caretaker of his daughter and son since the mother went back to work about two or three weeks prior.

Erik Hegwood told police the infant had been fussy and crying all day long and he had to force her to eat.

He also told police in addition to bumping heads with the infant after sneezing, he tossed her in the air and caught her around 2 or 3 that afternoon trying to calm her down.

When detectives asked Erik Hegwood about the cut on her chin, he told them he sometimes drug her around the floor on her changing pad in order to play with her.

Erik Hegwood also told police that he thought the swollen eye was due to his daughter being allergic to something on his shirt, like cat hair, because they have two cats in the home.

According to the report, when Erik Hegwood was asked about the marks on the infant’s shoulders, he said he sometimes massaged the infant when she wasn’t feeling well and the marks could have happened then.

Detectives asked Erik Hegwood to show them how he massaged the infant using a doll, and according to the report, a doctor told detectives after seeing the video of Hegwood with the doll that the injuries would not have been caused by what he demonstrated.

According to jail records, Erik Hegwood is being held on a $150,000 bond at the Pulaski County Jail.

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