Friday, April 10, 2009

Buddhist tries to beat demon out of 3-year-old son

Deputies: Houston man tried to beat 'demon' out of 3-year-old son
05:06 PM CDT on Monday, April 6, 2009
By Courtney Zubowski / 11 News
HOUSTON—A Houston man who allegedly thought demons had invaded his home was jailed Monday, charged with critically injuring his 3-year-old son.
Neighbors said the whole ordeal started with a statue.
Jacky Tran, 35, reportedly brought the statue into his southwest Harris County home, but then decided it had a demon in it.
“He said he got a statue and there was a demon inside or something, and then he took it to the Buddha, and the Buddha buried it in the cemetery,” neighbor Abdul Padat said.
That happened last Wednesday. Neighbors said by Friday, Tran had become a vegetarian and started throwing all of his belongings out of his second-story window, littering his yard with furniture and paintings.
But investigators believe that strange behavior took a decidedly darker turn on Saturday, when they say Tran beat his young son bloody.
When deputies arrived at Tran’s home, they found all of the windows open and loud music blaring from within.
When they looked through a second-story window, investigators said they saw Tran swinging something – possibly the child -- around a room.
They said they heard a child screaming, so they forced their way into the home.
Investigators said when they found the boy, he had suffered severe head injuries and was unable to speak.
Tran reportedly told investigators he was trying to beat a demon out of his son.
“When they found the child, he was beaten with blood all over his body – real, real bad,” neighbor Carlos Olivari said.
The boy was rushed to Texas Children’s Hospital. Doctors said he sustained multiple skull fractures, but they expect him to survive.
The news came as a surprise to Tran’s close-knit community. Neighbors said they’d always known Tran as a good dad who was happy to lend his neighbors a helping hand.
“We never heard anything strange. We haven’t seen anything strange,” Padat said.
Tran is facing felony child endangerment charges. He appeared in court Monday and was assigned a court-appointed lawyer. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 14.
If convicted, he could face from 5 to 99 years in prison.
CPS has since taken custody of Tran’s 6-year-old daughter and placed her in foster care.
Tran’s wife, Phung, who was home when the alleged beating occurred, was charged with critically injuring her 3-year-old son Monday evening.

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