WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A Wichita Falls father is charged with breaking his 3-month-old daughter’s leg and two ribs while he was trying to make her stop crying.
Branden Webb is jailed on $15,000 bond for injury to a child for abuse alleged to have occurred on Thursday, September 22, and earlier abuse that caused the rib injuries.
Police and Child Protective Services were called to the emergency room when the baby was brought in for the leg injury.
Doctors determined she had a buckle fracture to her left tibia. Staff reported that type of injury could be consistent with Webb’s explanation that it was accidental and occurred when he was leaning over her on the bed tickling her and may have pinned her leg on the bed under his body.
United Regional Health Care staff recommended further investigation.
The baby was taken to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas for additional exams, and medical staff there discovered the previous rib fractures that had partially healed.
CMC staff said such posterior rib fractures are highly specific for abuse and result from forceful squeezing or compression of the chest wall. They said the leg injury was consistent with trauma, and without a history of accidental trauma, the injuries were more consistent with physical abuse than accidental.
After this report was received on Wednesday, October 12, police again interviewed Webb and said he gave the same story about how the leg injury happened, and he said he did not know how his daughter’s ribs were fractured.
As the interview continued, the crimes against children investigator said Webb admitted he had lied about what happened and would tell the truth.
He said a few weeks before the leg injury, his daughter was in her bassinet crying, and he moved it into the living room so she would not wake up his wife.
He said he then picked the baby up and tried to get her to stop crying and got angry and began squeezing her tightly around her torso and yelling at her to stop crying, but she began screaming.
The investigator said Webb then told him the leg injury occurred when his daughter was on the bed crying, and he lost his temper and leaned over her and yelled at her to stop. He said she had her leg up as he aggressively leaned over, causing it to break.
Police said he admitted lying about the injuries because he did not want his children taken away.
Police said the mother said she did not know how her daughter was injured, and in both cases Webb was alone with the baby.