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Tip leads to arrest of man wanted in child abuse case

With the help of their website and a citizen’s tip, the Russellville Police Department was able to arrest a man Thursday who is accused of shaking and injuring his three-month-old son this past October.

Jacinto Castro Zacarias, 23, 300½ Madison St., Russellville, was arrested on charges of aggravated child abuse and using a false identity to obstruct justice, Russellville Police Chief Chris Hargett said.

According to Hargett, Zacarias was indicted on the charges for allegedly shaking his three-month old son hard enough that the child was hospitalized in October 2012.

Hargett said investigators were notified at that time by the Franklin County Department of Human Resources that the child had been admitted to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham with signs of shaken baby syndrome.

RPD investigators accompanied DHR workers to the hospital where Hargett said they met with physicians.

“Zacarias had stated he had shaken the child to prevent him from choking, but the doctors who examined the infant said they felt the injuries to the child were non-accidental because of the type of injuries they were,” Hargett said.

“The child had suffered subdural hemorrhaging and retinal tears in both eyes, which is consistent with shaken baby syndrome.”

Hargett said based on those findings, the child was taken into DHR custody at that time and the evidence of the case was turned into the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office to be presented to the grand jury.

Court records show the case was indicted by the March grand jury and Hargett said officers have been searching for Zacarias since the indictment was returned, but he wasn’t living at his listed address and no one could confirm his whereabouts.

Russellville investigator Lt. Scotty Lowery said Zacarias’ name, information and picture were recently placed on the RPD website.

Lowery said they received a tip on Thursday morning from a man who said he believed Zacarias was one of his employees.

“We received a call from a local business and the man said the picture he had seen of Zacarias looked like one of his employees but he said the employee was going by the name of Eric Torres,” Lowery said.

“We went to the business and after speaking with the suspect, it turns out it was Zacarias and he had been living under a false identity.”

Lowery said Zacarias was taken into custody without incident at that time.

“We are glad that this person is finally in custody and we appreciate the person who came forward with information that led to his arrest,” Hargett said.

“We have a ‘most wanted’ section on our website so we can find these people who are wanted for crimes and this is just a great example of what can be accomplished when the community and the police department work together.”

Zacarias is still in custody at the Franklin County Jail.