An Independence man has been charged with child abuse after he allegedly punched his his girlfriend’s 1-year-old boy repeatedly when the toddler wouldn’t stop crying, causing life-threatening injuries.
Jackson County prosecutors Monday charged Carlos Alaniz, 19, after he admitted to police that he punched the child in the torso while the mother was away from the apartment Saturday and on earlier occasions would slap, hit and kick the baby in the head, according to court documents.
Police learned Saturday at the hospital that the boy was “brain dead and on a ventilator.” While police interviewed Alaniz on Sunday, they learned from Children’s Mercy Hospital that the 1-year-old boy had “brain slowing” – indicative of previous injuries – as well as a lacerated liver and several broken ribs.
According to court documents, Alaniz and the boy’s mother had taken the boy to the hospital after she made a quick trip to the gas station, returned to their apartment off Stone Arch Drive in western Independence and noticed the boy was pale with bluing lips. They got lost on the way and called 911. Kansas City Police and paramedics rushed the baby to the hospital. Independence Police responded after it was determined the apartment complex was not in Kansas City.
The mother thought the child might have been injured earlier Saturday when, from the kitchen, she noticed her 2 1/2-year old son had been straddling the victim and “pouncing” up and down on the his chest and stomach on the living room floor. She immediately stopped him, she said, and the 1-year-old appeared fine.
On Saturday, Alaniz gave police a different account, saying the incident between the boys happened on a mattress while all four had been in the bedroom and he placed the baby in the crib.
When police confronted Alaniz about the differing accounts and said the injuries were consistent with child abuse, he had no explanation and was taken into custody.
The next day, according to court documents, Alaniz initially told police someone suffocated the victim before he admitted to punching him “six or seven times in torso” Saturday because he wouldn’t stop crying. He also admitted to striking the child earlier in the month, causing the bruises on his body.
Alaniz said he never admitted it to his girlfriend because he didn’t want her to know he was “beating her kid up.” He also said he didn’t like that the boy looked like his biological father, whom Alaniz did not like much.
Alaniz is being held on a $100,000 bond. A conviction of child abuse carries a sentence of five to 15 years in prison.