Local News

Soldier charged with beating toddler, infant

Posted November 18, 2008 5:22 p.m. EST
Updated November 18, 2008 6:34 p.m. EST

— 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.