DATE: July 9, 2014
SUBJECT: Child Abuse Arrest
CONTACT: Lt. Doug Daza
AUTHORITY: Sheriff David Wedding

The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an allegation of child abuse involving a 4 year old child. The suspect was arrested yesterday in Lafayette, IN on a warrant that was issued during the course of the investigation.

On July 8th, Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a north side address on a report of a man attempting suicide. The caller, the child’s mother, advised her husband, later identified as Mark Alan Hodgen, was threatening to kill himself following an incident in which he had struck his four-year old son. Deputies arrived to find that Hodgen had fled the scene.

The mother advised that she had left the child with Hodgen for a brief time, returning to find that the child was crying and had a large bruise on his face. The child told his mother that “daddy” had hit him because he was “being rude”. The mother confronted Hodgen who admitted to slapping the child too hard. The mother immediately left the residence with the child and contacted the Sheriff’s Office. She advised that as she left, Hodgen was crying and attempting to cut himself with a knife.

Deputies and a Sheriff’s detective observed that the child had large, hand-shaped bruises that encompassed the entire left side of his face from his left eye back to his left ear. It appeared that the child had been struck repeatedly. The child was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital by ambulance for treatment.

Sheriff’s deputies were able to determine that Hodgen was likely to flee to Lafayette, IN where he has family. An arrest warrant for Battery Resulting in Bodily Injury to a Child < 14 yrs. as a Level V felony was obtained and the Lafayette Police Department was notified. They were able to locate Hodgen and arrest him on the warrant. Hodgen is being held without bond in Lafayette pending transfer to the Vanderburgh County Detention Center later this week.

Arrested: Mark Alan Hodgen, age 31, Evansville

Charge: Battery Resulting in Bodily Injury to a Child <14 yrs level 5 felony