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Washington County man accused of hurting baby

POTOSI — A Washington County man has been charged with one count of child abuse, one count of second degree endangering the welfare of a child and one count of second degree domestic assault. Washington County Prosecuting Attorney John Rupp charged Ricardo M. Medina, 21, rural Bismarck, with the offenses on Thursday.

He is being held at the Washington County Jail on a $3 million bond. Meanwhile, as of Thursday afternoon authorities said the 17-month-old child was clinging to life at a St. Louis hospital.

According to a press release issued by the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, the incident occurred at 12:30 a.m. April 1 at a residence located at 10243 Bismarck Ridge Rd.

“Upon arrival the deputy observed a small child laying on the couch barely breathing,” said Sheriff Andy Skiles in the release. “Washington County Ambulance District arrived on the scene and transported the child to Mineral Area Regional Medical Center. A short time later the child was airlifted  to a St. Louis area hospital for treatment.”

A special investigator, Todd Mahaney, has been assigned to the case. He wrote the probable cause statement. In it he says Medina caused injury to the child by throwing the child approximately five feet in height to a hardwood floor. He said the child was thrown with such force it caused a fracture to the skull and bleeding to occur between the brain and protective membrane.

“The amount of blood was such that it caused the brain to deviate from the normal position and shape and required an emergency surgery to remove a section of the skull to allow for swelling,” Mahaney said in the probable cause statement. “The medical staff has stated that this type of injury is often seen in high-impact situations, such as car accidents and from falls greater than head height.”

He said the child also had bruises on her head, neck, back, arms, legs, trunk and buttocks.

“These wounds are consistent with child abuse based on my experience and training,” Mahaney said. “The bruises were in the shapes of finger tips, and were in various stages of healing.”

Mahaney said Medina pushed the child’s mother to a couch in a forceful manner and then began to choke her. He said the choking was severe enough that the mother briefly lost consciousness.

The mother told Mahaney about an incident that occurred in the home in which Medina held the child by one foot, swinging the child upside down.

“The swinging of the child was within the confines of a portable playpen, and the child’s face made contact with the mesh sides, causing an abrasion to the child’s lip which resulted in bleeding,” Mahaney said.

The mother told Mahaney that if authorities looked at the playpen, blood would be found on it, near the corner and on a doll. Mahaney said he did find the blood as described by the mother.

Chris Cline is a reporter for the Daily Journal. Contact him at 573-431-2010, ext. 114 or at

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