A Texas man called 911 and claimed he had "spilled innocent blood," telling police he had carved a pentagram into the back of his 6-year-old son with a box cutter.
Police in Richland Hills, Texas say Brent Troy Bartel, 39, told them that he had cut up his son because "it's a holy day."
The alleged attack took place yesterday, Dec. 12, or 12/12/12, a day to which some have ascribed mystical significance. As for Bartel, though, police said they "don't know exactly what he meant."
Bartel cut an image of the five-pointed star on the boy's back, which Richland Hills police spokesman Nathan Stringer described as being as large as a basketball and "encompassing most of his back."
"This is a bizarre case," Stringer told ABC News.
Bartel then smeared the boy's blood along the front door casing of the family's home, Stringer said.
Police said the boy's mother saw what Bartel was doing and fled to a neighbor's home, where she also called 911.
Officers arriving at the scene reported they found the boy wearing only pajama bottoms and his father standing over him. Bartel was ordered outside and police went to treat the boy.
The father showed "little, just flat emotion," Stringer said, and did not appear under the influence of any drugs.
Cops had been called to the family's home in the past, but only after minor verbal altercations.
The boy was taken to a nearby hospital, police said, and later released.
Bartel was charged today with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second degree felony that can carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, the spokeswoman for the Tarrant County district attorney told ABCNews.com.
He reimains in jail and was unavailable for comment. Authorities said they did not know if Bartel had yet obtained legal counsel.