Local News

Soldier charged with beating toddler, infant

Posted November 18, 2008

— A Fort Bragg paratrooper has been charged with beating his two young children, including one that is 7 weeks old, authorities said Tuesday.

Sgt. Alex Wayne Mages, 22, of 106 Dotson Drive, was charged with one count each of felony child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury, felony child abuse inflicting serious injury and felony assault with a deadly weapon. He was being held Tuesday in the Hoke County Jail under a $150,000 secured bond.

Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said Mages and the 7-week-old girl's mother took the infant to Cape Fear Valley Hospital last Tuesday, and physicians there called the Department of Social Services about the baby's injuries.

"I think it was two or three skull fractures. She had some ribs that were broken (and) some bruises and injuries about the body," Peterkin said.

The parents said the baby had fallen, he said.

Peterkin said the case doesn't appear to be a one-time fit of rage.

"The 7-week-old suffered from some injuries that were old and (some that were) new," he said.

The girl spent a week in the hospital before being released into DSS custody. Her 20-month-old brother was treated for a broken collarbone and also is in DSS custody.

"You got children like this who haven't even begun to live and understand life, to have to go through something like this, it's got to be traumatic," Peterkin said.

He declined to say if the mother could face charges, noting the case remains under investigation and more arrests are possible.

Mages operates unmanned aircraft, or drones, for the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, authorities said. He returned from his second tour of duty in Iraq last year.


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  • theonlyjester23 Nov 21, 2008

    Just let me say that If this is a case for PTSD, I might as well play the crazy card too. I can say from experience that there is no way you can see anything that graphic from that system. Nothing worse than you could see in a slasher flick, or on the 11 o'clock news. The detail is nowhere near that fine. And the environment is nowhere near stressful enough to cause any kind of trauma. And as far as the help is concerned, There was plenty of support and opportunity, just a lack of desire to get it. This has no bearing on the Army, and we're not "Brainwashed killers". Get your facts straight and maybe do a little research before you go making a complete dunderhead of yourselves.

  • hottlilsnowflake Nov 20, 2008

    I just wanted to set the facts straight and to say wral should of interviewed me before running with this story.

  • hottlilsnowflake Nov 20, 2008

    This is Megan Mages mother of the children in question. The medias facts are inaccurate. Alex beat my 7 week old daughter on Nov. 2 while I slept. When I saw her injuries the next day he lied to me and said he feel holding her. I demanded we take her to the hospital and after much grief from Alex we took her to womac. They then transferred her to cape fear hospital. Alex told 5 different stories of what happened to hospital personal and detectives before coming forward and admitting to beating her. My poor daughter has suffered two skull fractures 6 broken ribs and a broken shoulder. My son has a broken shoulder as well. All of these injuries other than the 2 skull fractures are 2-4 weeks old. I was cleared by the detectives when I volunteered to take a polygraph test and passed on Monday. As far as I know they are still debating about adding on charges to my son to be ex-husband's list. It still baffles me that anyone is capable of doing this to my precious babies.

  • kopfjaeger2001 Nov 19, 2008

    This is a tragedy that happens everyday, and not just the military. I have seen many cases of abuse found, investigated and prosecuted while in the military. So, don't say for one second that military covers this up. An abuser is an abuser, whether in the miltary or not.

  • Adelinthe Nov 19, 2008

    Anyone who hurts a child, especially one they claim to love, should face a mandatory 25 years in prison with no possibility of parole, giving the children they hurt or injured a chance to grow up safely and protecting other children that may be in their pathway as well.

    Praying these children never come close to these two parents ever again.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • jprime Nov 19, 2008


    Not that this excuses what he did: but those unmanned pilots undergo a lot of stress. They are flying missions with high powered cameras that allow them to see the aftermath of the rockets they fire from the unmanned UAVs. Fighter pilots drop their payload and see a large explosion from far away.

    He did a terrible thing and it does not excuse it, just dont think its fair to trivialize his wartime experience. When you play solitaire, every time you draw a card it doesnt KILL someone.

  • hunt36 Nov 19, 2008

    Myra I feel that the military does a lot of cover-up and am surprised that they even let the media even cover any story coming from the base.They are brainwashed and I guess that some pople are not strong enough in ther own mind to handle it. My son is 14 and he came home talking about the army the other day because he was told by someone (I guess a recruiter) that they would pay for him to go to school. I told him absolutley not and that I would work 3 jobs to send him to school when it was time especially to keep him out of there. Do not get me wrong I know that the military is not all the blame some people use that as an excuse and should use common sense. They could have given the children to my friends who can not have kids.It seems like the ones who want kids and would be great parents can't have them and the sorry ones just keep on having them.

  • Myra Nov 19, 2008

    Fort Bragg lets nothing get it the way of their MISSION and IMAGE and it is hard to tell which one comes first. Of course the soldiers do not get HELP --- they are brainwashed that needing help is a sign of weakness. Families: ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK.

    I have never lived in a town that had so little (if any) compassion. Rabid pro-war mongers who think Freedom of Speech First Amendment is only for them. Sort of reminds me of the movie The Stepford Wives.

    "Whatever you do for the least of these, you do also to ME."
    Back in olden days of war, troops did not go from the WAR ZONE to the FAMILY ZONE; they were required to spend 90 days adjusting back to 'normalcy' before being sent back to family.

    9-24-2004 Fort Bragg, reported to have highest rate of children killed by soldier/parents during child abuse. Camp Lejeune came in 2nd. A 16 year study by NC Child Advocacy Institute revealed this horror.

    Ft Bragg's solution was; KILL THE NEWS.

  • imagerydude Nov 19, 2008

    Although he's bound to use it as an excuse, I hope this punk isn't successful in saying the stress of war pushed him to commit such a heinous crime. He was a UAV operator! Not a combat soldier. If you're not sure what an UAV operator does, imagine this: (in a nutshell) flying a remote-controlled airplane that has an incredible camera attached to it. It's about as stressful as playing Solitaire on your laptop.

    He and the mother should be in jail until they rot. And, neither of them should be allowed near another child again - ever.

  • batcave Nov 19, 2008

    caneings do happen in this day and age, in Singapor and there is virtually no crime.