Santaquin man arrested for child abuse after doctors say infant injured by ‘violent shaking’

SANTAQUIN, Utah — A Santaquin man was arrested Tuesday on a charge of felony child abuse after doctors say his 3-week-old son suffered injuries consistent with violent shaking.

According to a statement of probable cause, Santaquin Police began investigating a child abuse case March 20 after a 3-week-old infant was treated for several injuries at Primary Children’s Hospital.

As the officer began investigating, the officer learned the Division of Child and Family Services was in the process of removing the infant and a 3-year-old sibling from the care of their parents.

A medical examination revealed the infant had bruises, a non-displaced rib fracture, and multiple leg fractures.

The parents reported the mother was napping and that the child was in the father’s care, and that the father found the infant face down on the ground. The parents told investigators they believed the infant’s 3-year-old sibling had picked up and dropped the infant or that the infant had fallen from the couch.

The parents also said the father had low blood sugar and could not recall what happened while the children were in his care.

In a later interview with police, authorities say the father, 27-year-old Gaven Mecham Beckstrom of Santaquin, “admitted to harming the infant and demonstrated how he physically handled the infant.”

The document states medical professionals determined the injuries to the child were not consistent with the parent’s initial account of a fall or a drop, but “could only have been caused by violent shaking…”

Beckstrom was booked into jail on one count of child abuse as a second-degree felony.