MUNCIE, Ind. (WXIN) -- Prosecutors charged Antonio Austin Rivera-Manship, 24, with two counts of battery, three counts of neglect, two counts of aggravated battery and a count of obstruction of justice after a 3-year-old boy went to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital with serious injuries.
Officers were called to a home in on West 10th St. on Oct. 8 after Rivera-Manship reported that the child had fallen down the stairs. The boy had suffered two “subdermal brain bleeds”; pediatricians and child abuse experts said the injuries didn’t appear to come from an “unprovoked fall down the stairs,” according to court documents. The boy was airlifted to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, where he was put in a medically induced coma.
Rivera-Manship lived with the child’s mother and was watching him. He said he became “overwhelmed” and pushed the 3-year-old down the stairs because they were arguing about what “the child would eat.” He said the boy appeared to be unconscious after he hit the floor.
According to court records, Rivera-Manship called the boy’s mother several times starting at 7:22 p.m. before eventually calling 911 at 7:35 p.m. to report that the child was hurt. He had earlier claimed that he’d “called 911 right away within 5 minutes of finding the child,” court documents said.
A pediatrician at Riley said the 13 minutes “could have definitely made a difference in the child’s current and long-term state,” adding that “every minute is helpful” when it comes to head injuries.
The Muncie Star Press reports medical personnel identified other, apparently somewhat older injuries to the child, including an earlier brain bleed and bruises on the child’s face, legs, buttocks and scrotum. Rivera-Manship allegedly confessed to police about other instances in the past two months when he had shaken the boy “to get the child to listen,” pinned the child to the ground while “roughhousing,” slapped the child multiple times around his stomach and thighs and hit the child in the scrotum “to show the child that it hurt” after the child hit him in that area, according to police.
This article originally listed the suspect's last name as Riviera-Manship; the proper spelling is Rivera-Manship.