This handout photo provided by the Richland Hills Police Department shows Brent Troy Bartel. Richland Hills, Texas. Police said Bartel carved a pentagram into his 6-year-old sons back Wednesday, telling a 911 dispatcher that he did it because its a holy day." Brent Troy Bartel was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. (AP Photo/Richland Hills Police Department)
Updated: December 12, 2012 7:00PM
RICHLAND HILLS, Texas — A North Texas man carved a pentagram into his 6-year-old son’s back Wednesday, telling a 911 dispatcher that he did it because “it’s a holy day,” Richland Hills police said.
Brent Troy Bartel was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was jailed in lieu of $500,000 bond, said Richland Hills police Sgt. Nathan Stringer. He did not yet have an attorney, Stringer said.
Bartel called 911 early Wednesday morning, and in a matter-of-fact tone, said, “I shed some innocent blood,” according to a copy of the recording released by police. After the dispatcher said, “I’m sorry?” he repeated those words, then said he inscribed a pentagram on his son. When the dispatcher asked why, Bartel said “because it’s a holy day” before hanging up.
Wednesday’s date is 12-12-12, a once-in-a-century event.
Officers who arrived first saw blood smeared on the front door, and it was “blatantly obvious” that it was put there intentionally, Stringer said. Officers in the Fort Worth suburb then found the child with his back almost entirely covered with a large pentagram. The wounds bled a lot but were not deep enough to require stitches, Stringer said.
The boy was taken to a hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.
Richland Hills police also recovered a box cutter they believe was used to cut the boy, he said.
Police plan to order a mental evaluation for Bartel, which will not affect the charges against him but will determine if he should be placed in a mental health unit in jail.
As officers were headed to the scene, a neighbor also called 911, saying a woman was outside her door and telling her something was going on at her house. The child’s mother could be heard on the recording saying, “He’s trying to hurt my 6-year-old” and “Please hurry! Oh, God!”
When the dispatcher talked to the boy’s mother directly and asked whether her husband had weapons, she said she had taken one knife but there were a lot of knives in the house.
Richland Hills police have responded to a few domestic calls involving verbal arguments at the home in the past four or five years, Stringer said.