Lights & Sirens

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UPDATED: Man suspected of injuring girlfriend’s sons to appear in court today

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on May 18, 2012 at 6:39 am |
May 18, 2012 2:06 pm

UPDATED at 1:06 p.m.

Pierce County prosecutors plan to ask that a 28-year-old man suspected of seriously injuring his girlfriend’s two young sons be held in jail throughout the weekend as detectives investigate the allegations against him.

Stephan Perebeynos is being held in Pierce County Jail on suspicion of first-degree assault on a child. He will make his first court appearance this afternoon.

Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said charges will not be filed today. Instead, prosecutors ask for a 72-hour so the investigation can continue. Perebeynos’ arraignment will be scheduled for Monday.

Fircrest police and Pierce County sheriff’s investigators say Perebeynos had been watching his girlfriend’s three children, a 7-year-old girl, a nearly 3-year-old boy and 18-month-old boy, for the past several days while she was at a drug treatment facility.

Perebeynos called 911 Thursday to report the youngest boy, Makai Hampton, wasn’t waking up. Officers found a critically wounded toddler with severe head trauma and bruises all over his body. He was rushed to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and Health Center in Tacoma.

Officers then started to search for the other two children. They found the girl safe at school but didn’t know where older boy, Tyrone Hampton Jr., was and alerted the media.

Perebeynos told investigators that Tyrone had been kidnapped by his biological father at a local Safeway days earlier but the abduction wasn’t reported to police.

The girl, however, told investigators that she had seen her brother Thursday morning before leaving for school.

After seeing coverage of the missing boy on the news, a relative of Perebeynos’ brought Tyrone to Mary Bridge later Thursday. He was treated for cuts and bruises, then released, Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said today.

He added that investigators don’t have a motive for the boys’ injuries.

“Nothing (the boyfriend) has said was consistent,” Troyer said.

The children’s mother, Heather Berven, was at Mary Bridge on Thursday night with her sons.

“I just hope my babies are OK,” she told KIRO. “They didn’t deserve this, and I don’t understand who could do something so awful.”

She said she’s been told her youngest son has a 50 percent chance of survival. Her older son had a neck brace and his eyes are purple and black.

The boys’ father, Tyrone Hampton, told KIRO he drove from Oregon to Tacoma overnight after hearing about his boys.

The 7-year-old girl and the 3-year-old boy have been taken into state protective custody.

Thomas Shapley, spokesman for the state Department of Social and Health Services, said the agency had no open cases involving the family as of Thursday.

There had been three prior referrals, however. The most recent came from a Puyallup Tribal health provider on Aug. 3, 2011. The provider called because of suspicious injuries inside Makai’s mouth, Shapley said.  The boy was 9 months old at the time.

A social worker went to the family’s last known address three times but never found anyone home.

“We initiated an investigation but didn’t complete it because we couldn’t find the family,” Shapley said.

Child Protective Services had received two other referrals regarding the family in 2010 but neither referral involved allegations of abuse or neglect of the children. Both had to do with the parents and their behavior.

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