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Two arrested after 3-year-old child hospitalized with leg fractures, skull contusion

The child's mother and her boyfriend have been charged with serious bodily injury.

SAN ANTONIO — Bexar County authorities say a young man and woman have been arrested in connection with what investigators say was an apparent cycle of abuse to the woman's 3-year-old son that resulted in the child getting surgery. 

Justin David Garcia, 25 and Brandy Nicole Laurel, 24, have been charged with serious bodily injury to a child, culminating an investigation that began in early May when deputies were notified of the boy arriving at a local hospital with "several injuries to his head and to his face," according to Sheriff Javier Salazar. According to him, the boy was previously brought to a hospital in April. 

"These are no minor injuries that we're talking about," Salazar said, adding the ailments were in various stages of healing, a sign of potential repeated abuse. 

From May 3 on, Child Protective Services (CPS) allowed the boy to remain with other relatives while visits from his mother and her boyfriend were supervised. But on May 21, Salazar said, the boy was taken to a hospital in Dimmit County by his mother and her boyfriend, where medical staff discovered he had four fractures in his legs. 

"At this point," the sheriff added, "the child was unable to walk, and had contusions at the vertex of his skull."

Authorities say those injuries may have been the result of a force wrestling move meant to cause "excruciating pain." 

The child, in order to prevent losing use of his legs, had to undergo surgery and remains hospitalized, according to Salazar. 

“It’s infuriating,” he continued. “If you don’t want the child, give him up for adoption. Give him to someone who does want him. Think about how many dozens, hundreds of families that aren’t able to have kids that would absolutely give this kid a loving home. Instead, you have these two animals treating him like dirt.”

Salazar says Lauren and Garcia will likely face charges in Dimmit County as well. Charges are also possible for the family members who were supposed to be caring for the boy when they allegedly handed him over to his abusers.

It’s unclear who will care for the toddler once he is released from the hospital.



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