Vancouver baby threatened with hammer, father arrested

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Aarondeep S. Johal faces a slew of felony charges

VANCOUVER, Wash. — A two-month-old baby is in the hospital after Vancouver Police say the child’s father kidnapped the baby’s mother and threatened to kill the infant.

Vancouver police said it started Sunday at a 7-Eleven when 32-year-old Aarondeep S. Johal followed his girlfriend — who has a restraining order against him — into the store.

The cashier told police the woman screamed as Johal chased her around the store, then smashed her cell phone into the wall. He allegedly grabbed her by the neck and dragged her out of the store.

Investigators watched surveillance video that showed Johal shoving the woman to the ground and then pushing her into the backseat of a car before speeding out of the lot. Johal then picked up the couple’s infant daughter from a family member.

That person told police Johal smelled of alcohol.

Investigators said Johal drove to the woman’s apartment. She was able to get away — officials said she had a head injury — but officers repeated demands for Johal to surrender were ignored.

“The officers made entry and saw the male subject holding the baby and was threatening to kill it with a hammer,” said Kim Kapp with Vancouver PD.

Kapp said Johal was using the baby as a shield and made repeated threats to the infant by throwing her off the 2nd story balcony. At one point he tried crushing the infant by pressing her agains the wall, Kapp said.

“They really quickly had to make some fast decisions about how to subdue this subject without causing harm to the baby or allowing him to then finish what he wanted to do, which was to throw the baby off the balcony,” she told KOIN 6 News.

Aarondeep S. Johal, October 11, 2021 (Courtesy: The Columbian)

Officers used a Taser on the man, but he continued to squeeze the baby.

Kapp said it came down to an officer punching Johal in the face, which allowed them to pry the baby out of his arms.

“The baby was not showing much signs of life so it was definitely not going to be much longer before that baby was not going to survive,” she said.

The woman and the baby were later transported to hospitals for evaluation.

Johal was arrested and charged with felony for a no contact order violation, malicious mischief, kidnap, driving with suspended license, residential burglary, kidnap and hostage of a two-month-old, attempted murder of baby, resisting arrest and other assault charges.

The Columbian reports Johal was reportedly out of custody on bail Sunday in a pending domestic violence case with the same victim and had a no-contact order when the latest incident occurred.

He appeared Monday in Clark County Superior Court. In court, Johal said he has never touched the alleged victim in his life.

Family Justice Center (Washington County)
A Safe Place (Clackamas County)
Raphael House of Portland
YWCA SafeChoice Domestic Violence Program (Vancouver)
National Domestic Violence Hotline

This situation was out of the ordinary but Kapp said domestic assault is increasing. Number from the Vancouver PD show domestic assault has increased during the past year compared to the 5-year average.

She urges victims to get help before it escalates.

“We’re seeing domestic violence rates go up with the isolation of COVID that has made things worse because often times victims cannot get away from their abusers,” Kapp said. “So anyone who is in an abusive relationship, there is help out there.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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