LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A mother and her boyfriend are facing child abuse charges after a 2-year-old boy went into cardiac arrest, police said.
Dominique Richard, 33, and Charles McKay, 32, had discussed the alleged abuse in text messages obtained by police, investigators said.
On April 29, officers responded to a residence for a report of a child who was in cardiac arrest, documents said. Paramedics said they saw bruising on the child’s body with a potential skull fracture.
Police spoke with the child’s mother, Richard, who said she called 911 after her son “sat still and went limp” while eating. Richard later told investigators she believed the child “fell back from his chair and hit his head on the floor.”
The child’s age was redacted in the police report, but Richard said “she is potty training” him. A Clark County Department of Family Services report indicates the child is 2-and-a-half years old.
In the hospital, doctors noted several other injuries, including a bruising and trauma to several organs, they said. Richard told police “she had spanked [the child] with a belt in the past, but not often,” police said.
Investigators reviewed the couple’s phones, finding a photo Richard sent to McKay on April 17 showing [the child] “with a bruised face, swollen forehead and skin peeled from his forehead,” police said. She said [the child] was “acting like a wounded animal,” police said.
The next day, Dominique texted Charles, “Take it ez on the discipline please, he needs to heal, and it be taking way to long on his skin,” police said.
In a subsequent interview with police, Richard said she never noticed the child had been injured in McKay’s care.
Police believe all the child’s injuries happened in Richard’s and McKay’s care after April 14, they said.
“This is not a case where an incident occurred and a frustrated parent lost control and took physical discipline too far on a single occasion,” police wrote in court documents.
Records show the county’s department of family services investigated three reports involving the household since 2019. One report from November 2019 was found substantiated and “appropriate services and referrals were provided to the family.”
Police arrested Richard on May 25. Officers arrested McKay on June 1 at an apartment near Fort Apache Road and Twain Avenue. It was not clear if this is the same address where the alleged abuse occurred.
McKay faces five counts of child abuse or neglect resulting in substantial bodily harm and one count of sexual assault against a child under the age of 14. The sex assault charge is a result of injuries to the child’s anus, police said. A judge denied his bail due to violating his probation.
Richard faces five counts of child abuse or neglect resulting in substantial bodily harm and one count of allowing child abuse or neglect. Judge Elena Graham set Richard’s bail at $200,000.
Both McKay and Richard remained incarcerated at the Clark County Detention Center as of Tuesday. A booking photo for Richard was not immediately available.