Police in El Paso, Texas, arrested a man after he put a one-year-old boy into “wrestling holds” and gripped his head like a football, officials say. He later dropped the infant onto the frame of a futon, causing fatal injuries, a criminal complaint states.
El Paso Police Department investigators arrested 24-year-old Marvin Rex Lake on Monday following an investigation into the death of a baby left in his care, KTSM NBC9 reported. An affidavit filed by officers revealed startling details.
Lake was reportedly taking care of one-year-old Ahren DeHart and two other children on April 12 when the incident took place. An affidavit obtained by the local NBC affiliate says Lake took the infant to a hospital on April 13 after he sustained multiple injuries at the hands of the suspect, officials state. Doctors placed the child on life support until he died on April 16.
Police say Lake told them he performed “several wrestling-style moves” on the Ahren DeHart including holding the child like a football. He said the child slipped from his hands and struck the frame of a futon.
He reportedly took the actions after becoming upset with the baby and being unable to control his anger.
Initially, Lake told the investigators he did not know what caused the injuries to the child. After confronting him with photos of the injuries, Lake’s story reportedly began to change and he said he caused the internal injuries–but not the head injury.
Lake is reported to be a friend of DeHart’s family and this was the first time he had taken care of the infant. The parent’s regular sitter was not available at the last minute, leading to Lake’s involvement.
An examination of DeHart at the hospital reveals several acute injuries. Those included skull fractures, brain damage, lung hemorrhaging, abdominal injuries, and bruising of the baby’s chin and lower body.
The two other children showed signs of injury and an investigation is underway in those cases, KTSM reported.
Before his arrest, Lake reportedly returned to the police investigator to seek reimbursement “for damages to the futon,” the investigator stated. “I did not hurt his head,” Lake allegedly told police. “I only caused the internal injuries.”
Ahren DeHart turned one last month, according to the baby’s father, a soldier at Fort Bliss. The baby’s mother works at a local hospital.