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Texas father carves pentagram on his 6-year-old son, police say

December 12, 2012|By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
  • Brent Troy Bartel is accused of carving a pentagram into his 6-year-old son's back.
Brent Troy Bartel is accused of carving a pentagram into his 6-year-old… (Richland Hills Police Department…)

HOUSTON -- A north Texas man is accused of carving a pentagram into his 6-year-old son's back, telling a police dispatcher that he did it because 12-12-12 was a “holy day,” police said.

Brent Troy Bartel was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon Wednesday, Richland Hills police Sgt. Nathan Stringer told the Los Angeles Times.

Bartel was arrested shortly after he called 911 at 12:10 a.m., according to a statement police released to The Times.

“What’s going on there?” the dispatcher said.

“I, ah, shed some innocent blood,” Bartel can be heard telling the dispatcher in 911 recordings released to The Times.

“I'm sorry?” the dispatcher said, and Bartel repeated himself.

“What do you mean, sir?” the dispatcher said.

“I inscribed a pentagram on my son,” Bartel replied.

“Why did you do that?”

“Because it’s a holy day,” Bartel said before hanging up.

As officers headed to the house, a neighbor called 911 to say a woman was outside complaining about something at her house, Stringer said. Then the child's mother could be heard saying, “He's trying to hurt my 6-year-old” and “Please hurry! Oh, God!”

When the dispatcher talked to the boy's mother directly and asked whether her husband had weapons, the woman said she had taken away one knife but that there were a lot more in the house, Stringer said.

Officers who arrived at the house saw blood smeared on the front door and Bartel’s son standing in the living room, shirtless and shivering, wearing only pajama pants. The pentagram covered most of the boy's back, Stringer said.

Police believe the boy was assaulted with a box cutter they found in the house, according to the statement.

The boy was taken to Cooks Children’s Hospital for treatment and was listed in stable condition and expected to be held overnight, Stringer said. Police notified Child Protective Services officials, who were working with the victim and his mother late Wednesday.

Stringer said the boy’s mother was not involved and had not been charged in connection with the incident.

Bartel was arraigned Wednesday and jailed on $500,000 bond. Because of the severity of the charge, he was set to be transferred to Tarrant County Jail on Thursday, and police planned to order a mental evaluation, Stringer said.

Richland Hills police have responded to a few calls involving fights at Bartel’s home in recent years, Stringer said, but nothing of this magnitude.

“This was kind of out of the blue,” he said.

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