Child abuse charge in Waterloo

Garrett Pence

A Waterloo man is facing a serious felony charge following an alleged incident involving his 7-month-old son which resulted in injury.

A warrant was issued last week by Waterloo police for the arrest of Garrett L. Pence, 33, of Waterloo, on a Class X felony charge of aggravated battery involving a child.

Bond for Pence has been set at $50,000.

Pence was arrested in Galesburg over the weekend and was being held there by police. He had not been transferred to Monroe County as of Tuesday afternoon, police said.

The young child was initially hospitalized in St. Louis as a result of his injuries, which were sustained at his home on Cottonwood Lane in Waterloo on Aug. 29.

The baby has since been transferred to Ranken Jordan, a pediatric specialty hospital in St. Louis that serves children with severe injuries and illnesses requiring extended care.

“The child is apparently going to make it,” Monroe County State’s Attorney Kris Reitz told the Republic-Times on Monday afternoon.

A person with knowledge of the situation said the child’s injuries are consistent with those who suffer from shaken baby syndrome, which causes swelling and bleeding in the brain and can cause severe brain damage and lifelong disability.

In a majority of these types of cases, there is no visible sign of external trauma.

Pence was not unfamiliar to Waterloo police. They arrested him in September 2012 for domestic battery at his Cottonwood Lane home.

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