A Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, man was arrested and charged with assaulting a 4-year-old autistic boy after he allegedly ripped three of his teeth out while babysitting last summer.
On Sept. 28, Montgomery County officials announced that Nicholas Kernechel, 27, was charged with aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child and other offenses after the child’s mother reported him to police this past July, Philly.com reports.
The mother brought him to the authorities along with a plastic bag that contained three “bloody but intact” teeth.
Kernechel was looking after the boy, whose mother was his girlfriend at the time, on July 18 when the incident occurred. After returning home, the mother found her son asleep on the floor of his bedroom with his face badly beaten, his lips swollen and three of his teeth missing.
The mother questioned Kernechel about what happened, and he initially told her that the boy must’ve fallen from his bed, prosecutors say. He later told police that while he was carrying the 4-year-old to the bathroom, he fell from his arms and landed on a nightstand.
The boy told authorities that Kernechel hit him and took his teeth out, adding that he was “not nice.”
“Kernechel left [the boy] in his bed, bleeding and crying, and failed to tell his mother about his injuries,” Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said in a statement, according to Philly.com.
Kernechel’s attorney, Patrick McMenamin Jr., said his client was “charged as a result of an accident,” which he called “unfortunate.”
“The allegations that my client did something intentional are outrageous,” McMenamin said on Sept. 28.
Kernechel is currently being held at county prison on $100,000 bail and is set to appear in court on Oct. 1 for a preliminary hearing.