Wolfforth man charged, accused of shaking 3-month-old baby

Joey Ortega, Jr., 24 is charged with aggravated assault.
Joey Ortega, Jr., 24 is charged with aggravated assault.(Lubbock County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 8:50 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2021 at 2:30 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A Wolfforth father is charged with aggravated assault after his three-month-old child died at the hospital. He was in police custody as of Tuesday afternoon after a warrant for his arrest was issued.

Police were called to UMC early Monday morning for a child who was about to pass away.

On Sunday night, Lubbock County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a medical call in Wolfforth where 24-year-old Joey Ortega Jr. was caring for the 3-month-old. When deputies arrived, the child was in cardiac arrest and was taken to UMC, according to an arrest warrant.

A doctor found the baby had injuries to his head and chest and was suffering from a brain bleed and retinal hemorrhaging, consistent with someone shaking the baby. The child also had healed rib fractures on his left side, according to the report.

Ortega told police he was watching his son and daughter while the mother was away at work. He told investigators he laid the child down in his bassinet with a bottle and 10 minutes later returned to check on him and found him unresponsive. Ortega described the child was “gasping for breath but could still feel his heart beating” and called 911.

At first, Ortega denied harming the child but, “when told specifically [the child] had injuries not consistent with natural causes he stated he had hugged [him] hard when he was crying,” the warrant states. He described to investigators shaking the child out of frustration.

The case will be presented to the Lubbock Criminal District Attorney’s Office for the consideration of filing Injury to a child against Ortega. Prosecutors are requesting a $500,000 bond.

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