A 6-year-old special needs child is now on life support in a Washington, D.C. hospital after his mother’s boyfriend allegedly kicked him in the head with a steel-toed boot.
Aaron Vanmeter, 21, told investigating officers from Washington County Sheriff's Office that his girlfriend’s son wouldn’t listen to him, which is why he kicked the 6-year-old in the head with a steel-toed work boot, Inquisitr reported.
Vanmeter added that he wanted to "scare him into being good" by striking the boy with a belt, slapping him across the head, and kicking him, according to court documents. He reportedly did not, however, mean to kick the child as hard as he did.
Vanmeter cited “anger management issues” as the reason for his outburst. He added that he didn’t do anything to the boy that the boy’s mother wouldn’t do.
On July 3, officers responded to a 911 call for a child who wasn’t breathing. Vanmeter and the boy’s mother originally said that the boy had fallen down the steps while running; police, however, noted the boy’s extensive bruising.
The 6-year-old had bruises on his face, head, arms and legs, Herald Mail Media. A doctor reportedly confirmed to investigators that the injuries were consistent with abuse, and thus they were not accidental.
While the mother originally denied knowing how the child was injured, she eventually admitted that Vanmeter abused him, according to the charging documents.
It was after seeing photographs of the child's injuries that Vanmeter confessed his crime, adding that his discipline of the boy was excessive, according to Herald Mail Media.
The boy “sustained severe head trauma that was causing the brain to bleed and swell,” the doctor reported. The beating also caused “a portion of his brain to die.”
Vanmeter is currently being held on $1 million bond. He was charged with first and second degree assault, first degree child abuse with severe physical injury, and second degree child abuse.
If the young boy dies as a result of Vanmeter’s attacks, the charges could increase.
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