A 21-month-old girl thrown "like a sack of potatoes" onto a bed by her mother's boyfriend may never walk again after suffering a spinal cord injury.
On Oct. 26, Minneapolis police officers were dispatched to the 2400 block of Logan Avenue North on a report of a child not breathing. When they arrived, paramedics had to perform rescue breathing on the girl.
On that day, the girl and the couple's newborn child were left alone with the boyfriend, identified by authorities as 21-year-old Eric Paul Boone.
When interviewed by police, Boone said he was sleeping in the same bed as the kids and woke up to find the little girl wasn't breathing. He told officers he had pushed down on the girl's stomach while reaching for the newborn before falling asleep.
On Oct. 29, a Hennepin County child protection investigator learned Boone had thrown the girl on the bed out of anger because she fell out of his hands when he was walking downstairs with her.
When Boone was re-interviewed, police say he admitted he was angry at the girl because she had wriggled out of his grip and fallen on the stairs. He told police he then picked her up and threw her on the bed "like a sack of potatoes."
The toddler was transferred from North Memorial Medical Center to Children's Hospital, where specialists determined it was unlikely that the injuries to her face, head and neck were caused by Boone pushing on her stomach or from falling down the stairs.
After a series of tests, doctors determined the girl suffered a cervical spinal cord injury, which could have happened from being forcefully thrown onto a bed or in conjunction with other assaults.
Medical specialists indicated a possible prognosis could result in the girl being quadriplegic or needing a permanent tracheotomy to breathe.
Boone was charged with first-degree assault and is currently at the Hennepin County Jail.