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Fargo man accused of slapping baby

Devin Ray Johnson

A Fargo woman text-messaged police last month after discovering a bruise on her 1-year-old son's face.

The tip initiated a child abuse case against the boy's father, who is accused of slapping the child excessively hard after he pulled baby wipes out of the container.

This week, prosecutors filed a Class B felony child abuse charge against Devin Ray Johnson, 1321 13½ St. S., Fargo.

Johnson, 22, has not appeared in court on the charge, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Cass County District Court documents state:

Police spoke with the child's mother on Jan. 22 after she reported that her son was slapped by his father, Johnson.

The woman said she noticed a bruise when Johnson dropped the boy off on Jan. 19 after the child spent the weekend with him.

Johnson initially denied knowing how the boy was injured, but then admitted he slapped his son because the boy pulled all the baby wipes out of the container, the mother told police.

When police arrived at Johnson's home, they discovered a glass pipe commonly used to smoke marijuana, but Johnson declined to talk to them about any matter concerning his child without an attorney present.

Police arrested him on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia, for which he is facing a misdemeanor charge.

Fargo police have started three cases because of text-messaged tips, Sgt. Ross Renner said.

The department has received 40 such tips since the program began about Sept. 15, Renner said.

"We've also received a bit of information about wanted people," he said. "And of course people send us texts saying we're doing a good job. They send us some bad texts, too."