Neighbors React After Man Charged with Attempted Homicide for Alleged Assault of 18-month-old Boy

HONESDALE, Pa. -- A man in Wayne County is charged with attempted homicide for a brutal attack on an 18-month-old boy in his care.

Honesdale police say Dustin Hazen, 27, of Honesdale, was arrested after the boy was found with serious injuries all over his body.

Hazen said nothing as he was led into the Wayne County Courthouse to be arraigned on several serious charges, including attempted homicide for an alleged assault on that 18-month-old boy.

Honesdale police say the attack happened at an apartment building at 1221 West Street in Honesdale on Monday and that Hazen and the child were the only people home.

Neighbors had wondered why police were on their street.

“One plain-clothes lady that was a [state trooper], I believe, and two troopers were there, and he had two paper bags in his right hand,” said Sean Conley.

The boy's mother told police she left the apartment on April 15 at 8:30 a.m. and returned at noon and found the child crying uncontrollably.

Police say Hazen, who is not the boy's father, told investigators he believed the child may have bumped his head on toys in his playpen.

Investigators say a doctor at Wayne Memorial Hospital found several severe injuries to the child and noted in his report that this was child abuse. Court papers show the child had injuries all over his face and upper body as well as his buttocks and genitals. The child was taken to Geisinger Medical Center's trauma unit where police say he could have a concussion.

The Children's Advocacy Center said it could not rule out the child had been strangled, prompting that attempted homicide charge.

“It's a little bit of a shock because it's an innocent child, but am I surprised that he got caught doing something? No,” said Lisa Shapiro. “But the child didn't deserve that, nor any child.”

Hazen remains locked up in the Wayne County jail.

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