Police in Salisbury charge father for physical abuse of three-month-old son

Injuries discovered when father took son to hospital for stomach ailment, police say
Investigators say the child, identified by Markowitz and his wife as their son Jasper, had fractured ribs and bruises on his chest, armpit, and back
Published: May. 11, 2023 at 2:41 PM EDT
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SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - A Salisbury father has been charged with the physical abuse of his three-month-old son. On Thursday afternoon police arrested Christian Elliot Markowitz, 29, of the 300 block of S. Merritt Avenue.

Markowitz was charged with felony assault inflicting serious bodily injury and felony negligent child abuse with serious bodily injury. Bond was set at $100,000.

Investigators say the child, identified by Markowitz and his wife as their son Jasper, had fractured ribs and bruises on his chest, armpit, and back. Police were notified after the injuries were said to have been discovered by hospital staff when Markowitz took his son to be treated for a stomach ailment.

Police also said there were signs of past injuries that had healed.

Speaking outside the Magistrate’s Office, Markowitz denied hurting his son.

“I love him to death,” Markowitz said. “I love him, I would never do anything on purpose to him. I don’t know what happened, I don’t know what happened. I have 5 kids, I’m not going to hurt a baby. They’re falsely accusing me of doing it on purpose.”

“I’m not saying he did it and I’m not saying he didn’t do it,” said Elizabeth Markowitz, the mother of Jasper and wife of Christian. “I’m not lying about nothing because I don’t know what happened, but if he did, he was scared to tell me because he knew how I would react, it wasn’t intentional.”

Markowitz brother says the child could have been hurt accidentally.

“Okay also he has other siblings, it could be possibly one of them playing with a toy tripped and landed on top of him, also he has daycare,” said James Markowitz.

Markowitz is set to appear in court on Friday morning.

This is the second disturbing case of alleged child abuse reported this week in Salisbury. Another unrelated case involves a three-year-old with severe injuries who is now in a trauma center.

Erin Moody, Prevent Child Abuse Rowan, Terrie Hess House Child Advocacy Center

“It’s an adults job to recognize when something bad is happening because 80% of abuse goes unreported for the person’s lifetime,” said Erin Moody with Prevent Child Abuse Rowan and the Terrie Hess House Child Advocacy Center. “250 new child abuse cases seen here last year, that’s maybe 20% of what was really happening.”

Moody says that as tragic as these cases are, they can highlight the need for adults to pay attention.

“We can’t change the bad people that are in this world, we can do our very best, but if our community is educated on how to keep children safe we can interrupt patterns of abuse much sooner,” Moody added. “They absolutely can recover but we need to recognize first that traumatic experiences change the way that the brain develops so we need to give children tools and support to manage that moving forward. We can’t just ignore what happened and go on without ever talking about it again.”

To learn more about Prevent Child Abuse Rowan and the steps that can be taken to keep children safe, visit: https://terriehesscac.org/