(KOIN) – A man is under arrest on accusations he abused and critically injured his girlfriend's 17-month old Monmouth toddler earlier this month.
The Polk County Sherriff's Office reports that 41-year-old Heath Epping lied to investigators about how the child sustained his injuries.
On Aug. 7, Epping told 911 dispatchers that he was caring for the boy at a Monmouth home, while his mother was at work, when the child fell out of a Pack and Play and lost consciousness. As the boy was being airlifted to Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, he regained consciousness. However, he was diagnosed with broken bones, subdural hematomas and retinal hemorrhaging. At last report Friday, the child was in stable condition.
With the assistance of the hospital's Suspect Child Abuse and Neglect Team (SCAN), deputies determined that Epping's story was not true. He was arrested Thursday on charges of assault in the first, second and third-degrees, as well as criminal mistreatment.
The victim's mother, meanwhile, cooperated with both investigators and the state Department of Human Services, the sheriff's office said.
Epping was lodged in the Polk County Jail on $180,000 bail. He was scheduled to be arraigned Friday afternoon.
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