Argument Over Food Leads Man To Push His Girlfriend's 3-year Old Son Down The Stairs Leaving Him With Major Injuries
An Indiana man has been arrested on charges of battery and neglect after he admitted to pushing his girlfriend's three-year-old son down the stairs during an argument about food, shaking and beating him, according to court records.
Antonio Austin Riviera-Manship, 24, of Muncie, on Monday was charged with eight felony counts stemming from an incident that took place on October 8.
According to court documents, Riviera-Manship initially told police that his live-in girlfriend's son had fallen down the stairs while he was in an upstairs bedroom, but he later confessed that he had pushed the toddler.
The child was rushed to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, where doctors diagnosed him with two brain hemorrhages.
The first brain bleed had resulted from Riviera-Manship's repeatedly shaking the boy, while the second had been inflicted when he pushed him down the stairs while looking after him, according to documents.
An examination revealed that the boy also had bruises on his face, thighs, buttocks and scrotum.
When questioned by police, Riviera-Manship said he became 'overwhelmed' because he and the boy, whom he called his 'step-son' in a recent Facebook post, were arguing about what 'the child would eat,' according to documents.
Riviera-Manship then waited 13 minutes before calling 911, even though he initially lied that he summoned help within five minutes of finding the toddler laying apparently unconscious on the floor.
A pediatrician said the delay in getting the injured boy to the hospital could have made a difference in his current condition and his prognosis.
The three-year-old was put in a medically induced coma as a 'last-ditch effort' to reduce swelling in his brain. It is possible the boy may not recover.
Court documents state that Riviera-Manship revealed that over the past two months, he had shaken his girlfriend's son to 'get him to listen,' pinned him to the floor, repeatedly slapped him on the stomach and thighs, and hit him in the scrotum to show him that it hurt because the boy had struck the man there in the past.
Riviera-Manship now faces two counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in catastrophic injury, two counts each of aggravated battery and battery resulting in bodily injury to a person less than 14 years of age, and one count each of neglect of a dependent and obstruction of justice.
Riviera-Manship was previously arrested in January on counts of burglary and auto theft for allegedly breaking into a maintenance building at the Academy of Model Aeronautics, and stealing a van and tools.
The suspect was apprehended after police said he tried to sell the stolen goods on Facebook using his real name.
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