April 18, 2019

Honesdale man accused of viciously beating young boy


HONESDALE – An 18-month-old boy is in the hospital with injuries over his entire body.  The man accused of brutally beating the boy in his care is facing many charges, including attempted homicide.

Police say the boy’s mother left him with Dustin Hazen, 27, of Honesdale, who is not the boy’s father, on the morning of April 15, in an apartment at 1221 West Street in Honesdale.  No one else was in the apartment. 

The mother returned home after about four hours and found the child crying uncontrollably and with multiple and severe injuries.  They included abrasions to his face, including bruising to the child’s eye(s), scalp, nose, ears, lips, mouth, neck, chest, back, and buttocks. These injuries were confirmed by Dr. Berry of Wayne Memorial Hospital, in that he said that the injuries were sustained within the last 24 hours and opined that this is “child abuse.”

A member of the medical staff at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania indicated the child had multiple non-accidental bruises on numerous parts of his body and noted a particularly concerning linear-type bruise under the child’s chin, which is consistent with a hand or object being placed there with such force to cause such a bruise and which would have placed the baby at risk of constricting his air flow and limiting his ability to breathe.

The biological mother said the child had no recent injuries.

Police say Hazen told them the boy hurt himself bumping into toys in his playpen.

Police arrested Hazen, charging him with criminal attempt homicide, strangulation, aggravated assault (on a young victim), all felonies, and simple assault, a misdemeanor.  He is in jail in lieu of $300,000 bail.

The child remains in inpatient treatment as of the time of this press release.  

“The Honesdale Borough Police, CYS, the Wayne County Detectives, and 1st Assistant District Attorney, Deborah Rothenberg did an excellent job in investigating this case resulting in the arrest and incarceration of Dustin Hazen,” said Wayne County District Attorney Patrick Robinson. “This attack on this 18-month-old baby shall be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the Law.”

Robinson noted this week was proclaimed “Child Abuse Prevention Month” by the Wayne County Commissioners.


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