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19-year-old man arrested after child in Gaston suffers near-fatal brain injury

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Posted at 11:49 AM, Apr 07, 2022

GASTON — A man is facing charges after detectives in Delaware County said he caused nearly fatal injuries to an 18-month-old.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the 19-year-old man, of Farmland, was arrested after his now ex-partner's child was found unconscious around 4 p.m. on March 17 at a home in Gaston. The child was flown to Riley Hospital for Children with life-threatening injuries.

The child has needed ventilator support, a feeding tube and surgery, according to the affidavit. The child had a near-fatal, acute brain injury and compression fractures to several vertebrae. A doctor told detectives the child will likely need ongoing physical, occupational and speech therapy.

The man told detectives he laid the child down for a nap around 2:35 p.m. and was made aware the child was crying because another juvenile went into the home, according to the affidavit. When he went back inside the home, he said the child's eyes were "rapidly blinking" and they were "screaming bloody murder."

Detectives said bruises have been noted on the child on different occasions since the man met the child, according to the affidavit. During the same time frame, the child also had ruptured blood vessels in their eyes.

All of these injuries were "unexplained and unreported," according to the affidavit.

He had been seen "aggressively" picking up and putting down the child, according to the affidavit. He also admitted to disciplining the child in the past.

The man was arrested Tuesday and preliminarily charged with one count of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, a Level 1 Felony, according to the affidavit. Formal charges haven't been filed yet by prosecutors, according to online court records.

WRTV doesn't name suspects until formal charges have been filed.