A 22-year-old Spokane Valley man was arrested and charged with 1st Degree Child Abuse after a 21-month-old girl was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries over the weekend.
Detectives were first alerted by hospital personnel who suspected the girl suffered multiple injuries due to abuse.
According to court documents, the girl was brought to Sacred Heart on Sunday by the mother's boyfriend, Brandon Oquendo.
The attending doctor noted the little girl had two brain bleeds, a collapsed lung, bruises on the right side of her forehead, lip bruising and a cut on her lip, a bruise on her left cheek and shoulder, a bruise on her left nipple, an abrasion on her neck, hand size bruises on the front of both hips and a bruise above her genitals. The brain bleeds are considered life-threatening and the child was admitted to the ICU.
After being alerted by doctors, detectives from the Spokane County Sheriff's Office responded to the hospital and interviewed the mother, who said Oquendo had been watching her daughter while she was at work. The mother said she began noticing an increasing number of bruises recently. According to the mother, on Saturday night, she confronted Oquendo who said the bruises were a result of accidents and rough housing with his son. The mother said she told him he needed to be more vigilant when watching the girl.
The mother says she received a call while at work on Sunday from Oquendo, who told he the girl was having a seizure.
Detectives interviewed Oquendo at the hospital who initially denied doing anything to the girl that would have caused her injuries. After further questioning, court documents show Oquendo admitted that while watching the girl, she had hit him in the face, he got upset and hit her in the stomach area. Oquendo says the girl cried and he sent her to her room.
When questioned about the brain bleeds, Oquendo told detectives it was an accident. Oquendo says he was playing Xbox when the girl walked in front of him. He says he "lost control of himself" while playing the game, threw his right hand forcefully with the controller in it and accidentally hit the girl in the back of the head. According to court documents, Oquendo hit her with such force that she ended up flipping over and falling to the floor.
Oquendo says he picked up the child to check on her and she fell asleep next to him. Oquendo says the child woke up, squeezed his finger, her eyes rolled back and she began having a seizure. Oquendo says he called 911 and then called his girlfriend.
After admitting to assaulting the child on purpose, detectives placed Oquendo under arrest and based on the evidence, charged him with First Degree Assault of a Child.
Oquendo made his first court appearance Monday afternoon.
(story and image: KHQ.com)