TACOMA, WA – Today Scott Rasmus, 34, pleaded not guilty to assault of a child in the first degree and unlawful possession of a firearm. The Tacoma man drugged his 5-month-old son earlier this year, nearly killing him. Rasmus was arraigned today at 1:30 p.m. and is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail.
“This is one of those stupefying crimes that defy explanation,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.
On the evening of Feb. 8, 2014, Rasmus and his wife argued and he told her to leave the house. He did not allow her to take their infant son with her. The couple’s friend remained at the house to help Rasmus set up a new TV, and to keep an eye on the baby.
At 5:00 a.m. the following morning, the friend left the home because Rasmus began to direct his anger at him. The friend said that when he left, the new TV was knocked over and broken, and the baby was sleeping.
A few hours later, Rasmus called his wife and told her that she needed to come home, pack her stuff and take the baby with her. Rasmus’ wife said the house was a “mess” when she arrived, and the mobile above the baby’s crib was ripped off. The baby was unconscious, limp and not breathing, so she called 911. Medics transported the baby to the hospital, where he was treated in the neonatal intensive care unit. He survived.
Doctors concluded the baby had ingested opiates and ketamine, which caused his breathing rate to decrease and nearly killed him. Lab tests show the baby’s bottle contained traces of ketamine and ethanol.
Rasmus’ wife said the defendant lost his job shortly after their son’s birth, and he drank and used drugs when he was stressed.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office