A Kennewick man remains locked up on $100,000 bail on allegations he repeatedly smacked around the 6-year-old son of his girlfriend.
Rodolfo Salinas, 24, told police he was hitting the boy “for parental discipline,” court documents said.
When police visited the home, the boy had a cut on his head with significant blood loss, along with several bruises on his body, documents said.
Salinas has been in custody since the Oct. 8 incident.
Last week, he pleaded innocent in Benton County Superior Court to second-degree assault of a child. The charge includes the aggravating circumstance that the victim was “particularly vulnerable and incapable of resistance due to extreme youth.”
Salinas’ trial is Dec. 5.
Kennewick police were called to the West Fourth Avenue apartment at 7:10 a.m. by a neighbor who “could hear a child being hit and thrown against the wall or ground,” court documents said.
One officer heard loud noises when he arrived. However, once he knocked on a window and the front door, the apartment went silent and it took the boy’s mother several minutes to answer the door.
The mother reportedly appeared upset and was wet and wearing a towel.
At that point, Salinas walked out from a back bathroom and was detained while officers tried to find out what happened.
The boy was discovered in the same bathroom. “There was a vast amount of blood in the bathroom and throughout the apartment,” documents said.
Salinas allegedly claimed that he woke up the boy that morning to check on him and found his face was swollen and nose bleeding as after-effects from a flu shot.
After he was arrested, Salinas said he hit the boy with an open hand on the side of his head several times, court documents said.
He added that the boy was on the ground at one point when he hit him, documents said.
The boy was taken to Trios Southridge Hospital in Kennewick. Medical staff told police that the boy also had some older injuries at various stages of healing, including swollen black eyes; dried blood under his nose; small cuts on his head, shoulders and back; marks on his buttocks; and small bruises on the left arm, court documents said.
Officers saw a “large purplish bruise” that covered the boy’s left thigh down to the kneecap, documents said.
While being examined by a doctor, he reportedly said that Salinas punched him on “a bunch of days.”
The boy was taken into custody by Child Protective Services, said Deputy Prosecutor Andrew Howell.