Favorite

Bruised and battered 

Child DHS left in custody with mother is hospitalized.

click to enlarge BRITTANY BRADFORD:  Freddy's mother.
  • BRITTANY BRADFORD: Freddy's mother.

On the evening of July 20, a concerned aunt drove her 26-month-old nephew to a Department of Human Services office in Little Rock to show caseworkers the bruises on his buttocks and back. The child had been spending the night at his aunt's when she changed his diaper and discovered the marks.

The DHS worker on duty took photos of the boy, but told Amanda Allen, the aunt, to return the child to his mother.

Exactly a month later, Aug. 20, Freddy Bradford was taken to Arkansas Children's Hospital with a fractured skull, detached gallbladder, internal bleeding and bruises all over his body. Doctors said it was as if he'd hit a brick wall at 65 miles per hour.

His mother and boyfriend had earlier told police they'd spanked the child with a belt and an extension cord, a report says.

The mother and boyfriend were apparently living with the boyfriend's mother, Carla Rucker.

Rucker worked for DHS' Division of County Relations, but resigned her job Aug. 8, agency spokesman Julie Munsell said.

Rucker told an interviewer for KATV Channel 7 that they didn't take the boy to a doctor for his injuries — which she claimed came from a fall and from bumping his head on a door — “because he didn't show any signs of trauma. He appeared to me to be OK.”

Doctors operated last week to remove Freddy's gallbladder. He's in stable condition, but on Saturday developed aspiration pneumonia, the family said. He has a feeding tube.

DHS is reviewing the handling of Freddy's case, Munsell said. The agency filed a petition Monday to place the child in foster care; a juvenile court hearing is set for next Tuesday. Freddy's grandfather, Randall Bradford of Solvang, Calif., is seeking custody. Bradford arrived in Little Rock Thursday. The child's great-aunt, Tanya Bradford, was granted emergency custody by Circuit Judge Richard Moore last week, but DHS's petition superseded the order.

Anne Orsi Smith, attorney for Tanya Bradford and Randall Bradford, said she's handled child abuse cases for the past 15 years and that she'd seen “some pretty bad cases. This one ranks way up there.”

Police were alerted to the abuse after two employees at the Harvest Foods grocery store on Rodney Parham called to say they'd seen a boy with two black eyes. The boy was wearing sunglasses, but the employees saw the bruises and asked the adults with the child — two women and a man — what had happened to him. They were told he'd fallen. The boy, the women and the man then left the store, walking toward Shackleford Road.

Police tracked the group to an apartment at 1601 N. Shackleford. Their report said officers “observed severe bruising around the child's eyes and head. They also discovered bruising and loop marks covering his entire back and bruising on his arms and legs.” The boy's mother, Brittany Bradford, 17, and her boyfriend, Brandon Bellows, 22, were charged with second-degree domestic battery and placed in the Pulaski County jail. Both are being held on $100,000 bonds. Brittany Bradford has a Sept. 2 court date.

DHS had initiated an investigation into child abuse after seeing Freddy on July 20. But the family said a DHS worker called Amanda Allen, who first reported the abuse, two weeks after the visit to ask directions to Brittany Bradford's home.

The incident comes hard on the heels of the investigations of four deaths of children placed in foster care by DHS. DHS has declined to provide any information on the children or how they died while it's investigating.

Brittany took a bus from Solvang, Calif., in June to Little Rock to be with Bellows, whom she'd met on a previous trip to Arkansas. She'll be 18 on Sept. 11.

Randall Bradford is the former chief information officer for the state who was fired by Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2002 after Bradford made public troubles with the state's computer system.

 

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Arkansas heritage department's open-door policy: It's the exit

    Multiple sources, including a member of the history listserv maintained by the University of Arkansas that is widely disseminated, report that a key employee of the Department of Arkansas Heritage has been fired.
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Miami to Little Rock: Artists of Spectrum at Boswell Mourot

    Boswell Mourot is exhibiting works by the Arkansas artists of Spectrum: Anais Dasse, Delita Martin, Jeff Horton, Dennis McCann, Keith Runkle and Kyle Boswell.
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Townsend Wolfe, 1935-2017

    Max has posted on the Arkansas Blog the news of Townsend Wolfe's death. The photo Max chose is a great one, but I also wanted to put up this one of Wolfe with his trademark brown cigarette. A More cigarette? A Tiparillo? I don't remember, but I do remember that Wolfe was seldom seen without one. The last time I interviewed him, after the ill-fated "World of the Pharaohs" exhibit, he had quit smoking, but out of long habit patted his shirt pocket, where he'd always kept his cigarettes, from time to time thinking he'd find a pack there before remembering he'd given them up.
    • Jan 14, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Kanis development decried

    Fletcher Hollow wrong place for density, neighbors tell LR planners.
    • Oct 8, 2015
  • Eligible voters removed from rolls

    Arkansas Times reporters contacted election officials around the state to see how they had handled flawed felon data from the secretary of state. Responses varied dramatically.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Real Republicans don't do pre-K

    Also, drifting away from trump, Hudson's downfall at ASU and more.
    • Aug 11, 2016

Most Shared

Latest in Arkansas Reporter

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Event Calendar

« »

January

S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Racism, materialism and militarism

    And more power for the House Speaker.
  • Profile of a plant

    What science does and doesn't tell us about the health benefits of cannabis.
  • 'A Q&A with new UALR Chancellor Andrew Rogerson

    He comes to the campus at time of change.
  • Taking on trainers

    As our legislators return to work this week, they will take up House Bill 1040, preventing athletic trainers from practicing in nonclinical settings and severely restricting what they can do to provide assistance to students.
  • Memories of Townsend

    Vernon Tucker, musician and former Arkansas Times writer, asked for The Observer space this week to remember Townsend Wolfe. Why not? What follows is memory of early days at the Arts Center.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: A new abortion provider

    • Modvigil online Your articles are very helpful and i thank you for your amazing insights…

    • on January 19, 2017
  • Re: The wizard of Wilson

    • Gaylon and his wife, Lisa, are first class citizens who live by the principle, "Treat…

    • on January 17, 2017
  • Re: Weird trivia

    • The Rapert dig is a libelous defamation of apes and hominoids. I get that it…

    • on January 17, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation