Man charged with carving pentagram on son's back

A Tarrant County grand jury has indicted a Richland Hills, Texas, father on a charge that he carved a pentagram on the back of his young son with a box cutter.

Jurors returned the indictment last week against Brent Troy Bartel, 39, who remained in Tarrant County Jail with bail set at $500,000.

The indictment charged Bartel with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

If convicted, Bartel faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Bartel was arrested on December 12 at his home in the 3700 block of Ruth Road in Richland Hills after he called 911 and told a dispatcher that "I shed some innocent blood."

When asked why he did it, Bartel said because "it's a holy day," according to the 911 recording.

Police found Bartel and his son - wearing only pajama bottoms - in the home. Police found that a large pentagram had been carved on the boy's back.

The child was taken to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth where he was treated and released a few hours after the attack.

Investigators also believe that Bartel got some of his son's blood and smeared the door frame of the family's home.

The boy's mother had fled to a neighbor's home where she had that neighbor call 911.

Bartel's mother, Lori Ponce, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in a December interview that her son had no history of mental illness, but he had been under tremendous stress because of marital and financial problems.

"Brent is not a demon," Ponce said. "He is loving. He loves that boy. Something happened. Don't paint him as some crazy man. No, that's not him."

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