A Red Lodge man accused of assaulting a 9-month-old child last month, causing “potentially life-threatening” brain injuries, has been charged with felony assault.
Nathan Samuel Polakoff, 23, was charged Wednesday in Carbon County District Court with two counts of felony assault on a minor. His arraignment is scheduled for later this month.
Deputy County Attorney Jenny Dravetsky alleged in charging documents that the child of Polakoff’s girlfriend was taken to Beartooth Billings Clinic on April 19, after his girlfriend called 911 believing the child was not breathing. The child, whose gender is not specified in court documents, was struggling for breath and had a seizure in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
Because of the infant’s severe condition, the child was later flown to a hospital in Salt Lake City, according to charging documents.
A physician in Salt Lake City told investigators the child was suffering from two skull fractures, believed to be from separate injuries, along with brain bleeding and retinal hemorrhages in both eyes.
The physician said the child’s injuries were consistent with being “violently slammed into something, causing an acceleration/deceleration impact injury with impact” — not the one-foot fall from a futon as Polakoff had allegedly told investigators. He also said the injuries were severe enough to be "potentially life-threatening."
The child’s mother conceded to Salt Lake City investigators that Polakoff “likely abused” the child, according to charging documents.
Polakoff told police he couldn’t explain the child’s injuries, prosecutors state, but suggested something may have happened prior to him coming in contact with the infant.
If convicted on both counts, Polakoff faces a maximum total of 40 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.