Father charged after allegedly choking 2-month-old son

Dec 16, 2020 at 03:58 pm by Lisa Marchesoni


A father accused of choking his 2-month-old son Tuesday at their home was charged with attempted murder and child abuse after deputies revived the baby, a Rutherford County Sheriff’s detective said.

Deputies found Roger Dewayne Watts, 37, of Farmbrook Court allegedly choking the baby when they entered the home within moments of receiving the call, said Detective Patty Oeser. While deputies were trying to rescue the baby, Watts let go with one hand and the mother grabbed the baby.

“The baby was lifeless and blue,” Oeser said.

Sheriff’s Cpl. Scott Martin started CPR until the baby took a breath and cried. He handed the baby to the mother and rejoined other deputies to subdue the father. 

After Deputy David Ashburn arrived for back up, the baby stopped breathing again and Ashburn performed first aid until he began breathing.

Rutherford County Fire & Rescue firefighters took the baby and gave him to arriving paramedics from Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services who began life-saving treatment. The baby was treated at Ascension St. Thomas Hospital, then transferred to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville.

The baby may be discharged today, she said.

Sgt. Bryant Gregory said deputies were in the neighborhood after receiving a call a man later identified as Watts removed his clothes and left the items in the street. While searching for him, they received the call about the baby.

“Watts was on top of his 2-month-old infant with his hands around its throat,” Gregory reported.

The father, who was extremely combative, was secured by deputies. Watts was booked into Rutherford County Adult Detention Center he was also charged with resisting arrest. His being held on $306,000 bond. A hearing is set Feb. 9 in General Sessions Court.



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