Three Blackwell people are being charged with the abuse and neglect of three young children who are now in the care of DHS custody. According to KFOR-TV out of Oklahoma City, the investigation began after a 12-month-old child was found to have extensive bruising around its face.
The parents John and Tami Rahlen are being charged with child neglect and failure to report child abuse. And the friend James “Bear” Pomerantz is also charged with child abuse.
Blackwell Police and DHS went to Rohlin’s home on the 400 block of West Blackwell Ave. on a welfare check, and once inside discovered the baby’s bruises.
All three kids were then taken to a doctor to be examined. According to court documents, that is when they discovered that the parents have cancelled or failed to show up to one necessary doctor’s appointment after another for all three kids. One of the kids wasn’t being treated for vision and heart complications from a generic condition.
Blackwell Police Detective Jay Brewer said that doctors discovered a skull fracture, rib fracture and possible leg fracture on the baby.
Investigators said they believe the injuries came from Pomerantz who was staying with the Rohlin family, and frequently watched the children. According to the affidavit, Pomerantz told a DHS worker “he does ‘toss’ the victim onto the couch but does not throw him.”
A massive burn on the baby’s back was believed to be caused when Pomerantz “changed the bath water from cold to hot,” the other children telling investigators “that is what caused the victim to cry really bad when he was in the bathtub and burned him.”
“The mother tried to tell DHS and the patrol officer that was there that it was a birthmark,” Brewer said, “but DHS obtained medical records that proved that wasn’t the case.”
The affidavit states the extensive bruising on the face was allegedly from when “Pomerantz plays ‘chubby cheeks’ with the victim which is a game he plays with them when he pinches their cheeks.” Pomerantz allegedly told DPS that he does play that game with the baby, “and has noticed that he was flinching the other night and he was concerned and asked the child’s mom about it.”
All of the injuries the parents denied knowledge of, but police said they could not and should not have been missed.
“The mom did tell DHS towards the end of her interview that she had talked to James about being rough with the kids,” Brewer said, “whatever that means.”
Blackwell Police are searching for James Pomerantz. Because he is known to be a squatter in several locations, he is yet to be found. We do not have an image to provide of Pomerantz at this time.