'Daddy's Mad at Me': Couple Charged in Child Abuse Case - NECN
Connecticut

Connecticut

The latest news from around the state

'Daddy's Mad at Me': Couple Charged in Child Abuse Case

A Plainville couple are facing charges after the man abused their 3-year-old daughter and the woman did nothing to stop it, according to police. (Published Monday, Aug. 31, 2015)

A Plainville couple is facing charges after the man abused their 3-year-old daughter and the woman did nothing to stop it, according to police.

Richard Martel, 23, and Danielle Wells, 28, were arrested Thursday and Sunday, respectively.

Police began investigating after Wells reported a domestic incident involving Martel on July 6 and said he had also been abusing their daughter, according to the warrant for Martel's arrest.

The toddler suffered a bump on her forehead, swelling on her elbow, marks on her face and neck, bruises on her legs and redness on her back, police said.

When a caseworker from the Department of Children and Families asked about her injuries, the child said, "I'm scared," and "Daddy's mad at me," according to police. DCF asked who caused the wounds and the child responded, "Daddy."

The toddler was treated at Connecticut Children's Medical Center. A doctor from the hospital's Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect Program told investigators a hematoma on the toddler's forehead was "a result of significant blunt force trauma" and was "much too extensive to have resulted from a fall," the arrest warrant states.

The doctor also told police hemorrhages on the little girl's neck were "diagnostic of inflicted trauma."

Wells told police her boyfriend suffers from bipolar disorder and "when a kid cries, it sets Martel into a 'rage.'" She said he started going "downhill" in March and became "worse" over the past month, according to the arrest warrant.

She described times when Martel would pick the child up by her neck and throw her onto the bed. Wells said Martel hit their daughter and once punched her in the stomach, the warrant states.

She said she never reported the abuse because Martel would "follow her or take her cellphone," according to the warrant.

Martel denied hitting or injuring the child and told police the toddler had fallen off her bike. Investigators said they couldn't verify his story.

He admitted to slapping her once on the buttocks, causing a bruise, and said he threw her "softly" onto the bed "when she would get under his skin and he needed a break," according to the arrest warrant. He also said he once "softly back handed (the child) in the mouth" after she swore at her mother.

The child is now in the custody of DCF.

"It's my understanding that there's no permanent damage," said Plainville police Lt. Nicholas Mullins.

Martel was charged with risk of injury to a minor, third-degree assault and second-degree reckless endangerment. Wells was charged with risk of injury to a minor and reckless endangerment.

Both are due back in court next month. It's not clear if either has an attorney.

Wells could not be reached for comment Monday evening. Martel's father declined to comment on the case.

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS