A 22-year-old Fairbanks man accused of assaulting a 3-year-old boy and a 7-month-old girl in the past several months has been charged with two counts of felony third-degree assault.
Isaac Mendoza allegedly punched him over his heart, slammed his head against a floor and shook and squeezed him. Mendoza allegedly pressed the baby girl’s chest to make her stop crying and left her with multiple bruises and a possible bite mark.
The alleged abuse took place in April and May of this year. Mendoza was charged Tuesday after an investigation by Fairbanks police and Fort Wainwright’s Criminal Investigation Division.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Fairbanks court, the father of the 3-year-old boy noticed bruising and swelling on his son’s head on May 22. When asked what happened, the boy told his father that Mendoza put a pillow on his head and slammed him into a wall. The boy’s father took him to Bassett Army Community Hospital the next day after the swelling became worse. Hospital staff found soft tissue damage on the boy’s skull and blunt force trauma and bruising on his arm.
The boy was interviewed at a child advocacy center May 27, and additional marks and bruises were found on his body, according to the complaint.
When interviewed by military investigators June 2, Mendoza admitted to assaulting the boy four or five times and spanking him twice because the boy wouldn’t go to sleep when he was told. Mendoza said he also slapped the boy in the face about a month before that because he was frustrated that the child wouldn’t listen to him.
During the course of the investigation, Mendoza also admitted he physically assaulting his 7-month-old daughter on May 10 after she began to cry while he was changing her diaper. Mendoza said he was “stressed out” and pressed his fist into the baby’s chest to make her stop crying, according to the complaint.
The baby’s mother told investigators there were three prior occasions in April when the baby had bruises after visiting Mendoza. The girl’s babysitter also reported seeing suspicious bruises and took photographs of injuries to the baby’s leg, chest, stomach and face.
Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMcrime.