Texas man admits carving pentagram in son's back

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by MATT GOODMAN and MONIKA DIAZ / WFAA

WFAA

Posted on December 13, 2012 at 9:17 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 13 at 9:16 AM

RICHLAND HILLS, Texas -- Richland Hills police say a man is in custody for carving a pentagram into the back of his six-year-old boy. 

Department spokesman Sgt. Nathan Stringer said officers were dispatched to a home in the 3700 block of Ruth Road after a man called 911 just after midnight Wednesday and said "I shed some innocent blood." The dispatcher asked what he meant and the man responded, "I inscribed a pentagram on my son." 

When asked why, the caller said, "Because it's a holy day" and hung up the phone. Wednesday's date was 12-12-12, a once-in-a-century occurence. 

Brent Troy Bartel, 39, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon –– family member. He's in custody in the Quad-Cities Jail in North Richland HIlls on $500,000 bond. 

During Bartel's 911 call, Stringer said the boy's mother ran to a neighbor's house and had her call police to report that her husband was hurting her child. The mother is heard in the background of the call saying, "He's trying to hurt my six-year-old" and told the neighbor her husband has a knife. 

When officers arrived, they found the boy standing in the home, shivering in pajama pants without a shirt. The pentagram covered much of the boy's back, Stringer said. Investigators found a box cutter nearby and believe it was what Bartel used, Stringer said. 

"This is something you normally hear about in the movies, not something you expect to see," Stringer said.

The child was taken to Cooks Children's Hospital, Stringer said. He was released to his mother Wednesday.

Child Protective Services and a crime victim liaison are both investigating.

"It breaks your heart, because I didn't know he was capable of doing that," said neighbor Joyce Pierce. "We will be praying for all of them because we don't know what went wrong."

According to police, there have been minor domestic-related incidents at the home involving the couple, but no previous incidents involving the child. Detectives also say there was no indication Bartel was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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