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ML man arrested in alleged assault of infant

by R. HANS MILLER
Staff Writer | December 22, 2021 1:03 AM

A Moses Lake man was arrested Saturday after an investigation allegedly identified him as a suspect in a child abuse case.

Moses Lake Police Department officers said Donovan Cantu, 21, was taken into custody for allegedly assaulting a 9-week-old infant boy.

“The child had a number – I believe they got eight – broken ribs, which caused a collapsed lung, and then contusions and bruises to the face and the head and then three fractures between the two legs,” said MLPD Capt. Mike Williams.

Officers responded early Friday morning to a call from staff at Samaritan Hospital wherein medical professionals believed the severity of the child’s injuries indicated abuse, according to a MLPD statement. Williams said hospital staff informed investigators the child arrived in a personal vehicle Friday morning. Officers said they interviewed family members and recovered “substantial evidence,” including a video recording that allegedly captured audio of part of the assault.

Officers are continuing to investigate.

“We’re still in the process of obtaining evidence from the residence,” Williams said. “To this point, the mother has been cooperative with the investigation and has been assisting us.”

Williams said Cantu is being held on first-degree assault of a child, a Class A felony. If convicted, Cantu could face a maximum sentence of life in prison, a maximum fine of $50,000, or both, according to Washington state law.

Williams could not verify Cantu’s relationship with the child other than they both lived in the same home. No other members of the household reported any injuries caused by Cantu, Williams said.

Anyone witnessing a child in danger should intervene to assist the child and ensure the minor receives medical care if needed, Williams said. Once that is addressed, reporting the issue to Child Protective Services, under the state Department of Children, Youth & Families, or local law enforcement is the next step in preventing situations similar to what the baby may have faced in this case.

“The last report I got was that the child was in stable condition, still in the hospital,” Williams said.

For more information on reporting child abuse, visit www.dcyf.wa.gov/safety/report-abuse.

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