YAMHILL, Ore. -- A Yamhill reserve police officer faced a judge Monday on accusations that he assaulted and critically injured his girlfriend’s 4-year-old son.
Michael Abo called 911 last Tuesday to report that the boy fell from a stairwell and got hurt, according to court documents obtained by KGW.
Abo's police statement said "the child was jumping up and down on the stairwell just before Abo went into his bedroom. Abo reported that he heard a thump and found the 4-year-old child laying on his back at the bottom of the stairwell."
Investigators did not believe Abo’s story.
The child was flown to Oregon Health and Science University in critical condition. Doctors said he had bruises all over his body, along with seven fractured ribs, internal injuries and a severe brain injury.
Doctors treating the boy told police the injuries were the result of blunt force trauma and "would not be consistent with a fall from a stairwell," according to the court documents.
Abo said he has never hit the boy. He was charged with criminal mistreatment and assault.
Mother interviewed by police
The court document stated that Abo was babysitting the young boy at his Sheridan home when he called 911. The child's mother told investigators Abo was the only person with her son and no one else could have hurt him.
She told police she moved in with Abo in December and her son immediately started wetting his bed and biting his nails. She said she also noticed a bruise on his arm once, but Abo told her he had been teaching the child to wrestle.
The court documents said that Abo forbid her to bathe or clothe the boy, so she did not see any other bruising. She told police Abo watched her son Sunday through Thursday every week, while she worked.
Abo worked in law enforcement
Abo is a former Yamhill County deputy and most recently volunteered as a reserve police officer with Yamhill’s police department.
”It’s been a little difficult because some of our officers, even some of our investigators, have worked with him in the past," said Capt. Matt Scales with the McMinnville Police Department.
A person who described herself as a “long-time friend” of Abo’s talked to KGW Monday after the court appearance and said she doesn’t believe the allegations.
“I’ve never known of him to be a violent person,” she said. “He’s been around my kids and I’ve seen him around his kids. I’ve never seen that action from him.”
Abo was being held in the Washington County Jail since he worked in law enforcement in Yamhill County and could be a safety risk. His bail was set at $1 million.
KGW reporter Mark Hanrahan contributed to this report.