Fort Worth, Texas — A Texas man is facing criminal charges after carving a pentagram into his six-year-old son’s back in recognition of 12-12-12.
The man, identified as 39-year-old Brent Bartel of Richland Hills, called 911 after using what is believed to be a box cutter to carve the five-pointed star into his son’s flesh.
“I shed some innocent blood,” he told the dispatcher.
“I’m sorry?” the woman replied.
“I shed some innocent blood,” Bartel repeated, to which the dispatcher asked why.
“It’s a holy day,” he said with a bit of enthusiasm in his voice, and then hung up.
While police were on the way to the scene, a neighbor also called 911 to plead for help. In the background of the call, Bartel’s wife can be heard yelling, “He’s trying to hurt my six-year-old!” and “Please hurry!”
When authorities arrived, they stated that they saw blood smeared around the doorpost of the home, as if done for some sort of ritual. Police state that they do not know what religion Bartel was following or what his beliefs were about why 12-12-12 was considered a “holy day.” Sergeant Nathan Stringer told reporters that Bartel has not expounded on the motivation for his actions.
Bartel was taken into custody at his North Texas residence and was charged with aggravated assault with a weapon. He is being held on $500,000 bond, and remains behind bars as of press time. Police state that they also are seeking to have Bartel undergo a mental health evaluation.
Bartel’s parents state that he does not have mental issues.
“Brent is not a demon. … He loves that boy,” his mother Lori Ponce told reporters. “Something happened. Don’t paint him as some crazy man. No, that’s not him.”
The six-year-old was taken to a local hospital where he was evaluated by doctors. The carving did not require stitches, and the boy was released Wednesday night. The pentagram is stated to have covered nearly the entirety of the child’s back.
While the boy is in satisfactory physical condition, doctors worry about how his emotional state will play out for the rest of his life.
“Deliberate abuse or harm breaks trust and the bond between a child and adult,” Dr. Peter Stavinoha, manager of psychiatric services at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, told the Associated Press. “Trauma is going to stay with a person, but you want to get to a point where you acknowledge it and set it aside.”
The child’s mother is said to herself be in a “very emotional state” and requested privacy on behalf of the family.