Police release details about alleged abuse of Lubbock toddler
By Tiffany Pelt
By Tiffany Pelt
On Tuesday, police released Johnny Herrera's arrest warrant, giving us a disturbing look into what allegedly sent his 16-month-old daughter to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Saturday night, the toddler was unresponsive when she was taken to the hospital and is still in critical condition. The child's father, Johnny Herrera, 27, was arrested and charged with intentionally causing injury to a child on Sunday.
The arrest warrant contains a long list of injuries police say the child sustained, including what looks like a bite mark on her cheek and severe head trauma with bleeding and swelling. Even more disturbing, the warrant says Herrera's two other children witnessed their father abusing the little girl over and over.
The child's mother told police Herrera had just recently started paying child support in October and since then, he has visited the child occasionally. This past weekend was the third time the child had stayed at Herrera's home.
According to the documents, Herrera originally told police he set his daughter on top of the kitchen counter and was going to put medicine on her lips because they were bleeding from being chapped. Herrera claims that when he turned around, the toddler fell off the counter and became unresponsive.
However, investigators say he then changed the story. Herrera said he "got up off his bed and passed out landing on top of her head with his knee." He told police she began to cry and he consoled her. Then, he says, the kitchen counter incident occurred.
Investigators also questioned Herrera's two older children after they were taken to the Children's Advocacy Center, and their stories give a completely different account of what happened.
The children told police they witnessed Herrera throw a spiral notebook at the girl's face, causing her to bleed. According to one child, he witnessed Herrera lock the toddler in a box and put items on top so she couldn't get out. The child said his dad laughed while doing this.
The document also states "His dad poured water on the girl and began sliding her across the dresser resulting in her falling off." The child told investigators this happened about five times on different occasions.
One of the children also says on the day of the incident, Herrera punched the little girl in the face three times until she stopped breathing. Other times, this child says her father would shake the girl's face when she cried, pick her up by her legs and drop her and slap her with a towel.
The other daughter says at one point Herrera shoved his thumb in the toddler's mouth causing her to choke.
After the child was taken to the hospital Saturday night, police questioned Herrera. The warrant states "Herrera was emotional during the interview ranging from crying, to becoming silent for extended periods, to becoming agitated and raising his voice."
Herrera's bond is currently set at $500,000 due to the seriousness of the toddler's injuries.
Copyright 2013 KCBD. All rights reserved.