Child-abuse suspect subject of previous probe

A Grand Junction man jailed this week on charges he broke his 1-year-old son’s arm was investigated but not arrested several months earlier after the baby suffered two broken arms, according to an arrest affidavit.

The affidavit also indicates Zakary Bocconcelli, 24, 1940 Grand Ave., No. 207, was supposed to attend parenting classes in the wake of his son’s first injury but only attended one because he couldn’t focus.

Bocconcelli turned himself in on Monday on a charge of felony child abuse resulting in serious injury. He is free from the Mesa County Jail on $50,000 bond and is expected to be formally charged next Tuesday.

A Mesa County Department of Human Services worker called Grand Junction police to St. Mary’s Hospital on Oct. 18 after Bocconcelli and his wife, Elizabeth, brought in their son, reporting he crawled out of his crib and fell on the floor.

A detective who went to the Bocconcellis’ apartment to examine the crib wrote in the affidavit she believed the baby’s injury was not consistent with him falling out of his crib, given the carpeted floor and the roughly three-foot distance from the top of the crib to the floor.

On Oct. 23, Elizabeth Bocconcelli called detectives and indicated her husband had lied about what had happened to their son. She told police Zakary had told her he was swinging the baby by his arms and had swung him too hard and broke a bone in the baby’s arm, the affidavit said.

A St. Mary’s doctor, however, said that version was not consistent with the type of break and the amount of force necessary to break the bone, the affidavit said.

On Nov. 21, Zakary Bocconcelli told detectives a third version of what happened to the baby — that he had grown frustrated by his son’s crying and grabbed the child’s wrist, twisted it down and pushed up on his arm, indicating he felt and heard the bone break.

The affidavit indicated the Bocconcellis were supposed to attend parenting classes set up by the Department of Human Services. Zakary Bocconcelli told detectives he attended one class but couldn’t focus.

“There was another individual in the classroom with a Swatztika (sic) on his shirt,” a detective wrote in the affidavit. “He didn’t like this and never returned to the class.”

The social worker said she called police regarding the October incident because the Department of Human Services and police had investigated the Bocconcelli family earlier in the year after the baby reportedly fell off a couch, the affidavit said.

The child was taken to St. Mary’s on March 18 and April 6 for a sore right arm. X-rays taken during the second visit showed both forearms had fractures that were healing, the affidavit said.

Department of Human Services spokeswoman Karen Martsolf said she could not comment specifically on the Bocconcelli case. But she said case workers offer programs like parenting classes “to parents the department feels like may not be at risk of abusing their children but may be in need of additional resources.”

Grand Junction police spokeswoman Kate Porras said she did not have any information about the first investigation.


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