A Clay County man was arrested in Greencastle last week on suspicion that he fractured the skull of his girlfriend's 4-year-old son by hitting him with a stuffed toy dog.
Brian Erwin, 28, Brazil, was charged with battery resulting in serious bodily injury and criminal recklessness after doctors at Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis examined the boy and determined he was bleeding between his skull and his scalp.
Erwin, according to a police report, was the boyfriend of Greencastle resident Kim Thomas. The couple were living at the Castlebury Apartments along with Thomas' four children from a previous relationship and one belonging to Erwin and Thomas.
Thomas told police that she and Erwin had gotten into an argument a little over a week ago and that Erwin tried to hit her with a musical toy dog. Thomas said that Erwin threw the toy at her but it missed and struck the little boy in the head.
Thomas said her son cried for 15 or 20 minutes after the incident but didn't show any signs of injury until this week when she and Erwin noticed a soft bump on the boy's head.
The child was examined at Putnam County Hospital on Monday night and subsequently moved to Riley Hospital where police say he underwent surgery this week and is expected to recover.
Detective Randy Seipel examined the toy and said in his report that it contained a plastic music box that if thrown with enough force, could potentially cause the type of injury that the boy received.
Seipel questioned the boy at the hospital and he told him that Erwin had hit him on the head with the toy, according to the police report.
In an interview with police, Erwin told Seipel that he threw the toy at his girlfriend but that she moved and it hit the boy instead, according to the police report.
Erwin's pretrial conference with the judge has been set for 8:30 a.m. May 25. He is being held at the Putnam County Jail on $10,000 cash bond.
Adam Coates is a reporter for The BannerGraphic, Greencastle