PARK RAPIDS, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota surgeon choked his foster son by forcing a latex glove down the 10-year-old boy’s throat and stopped only when interrupted by his wife, according to a criminal complaint charging him with attempted second-degree murder.
Dennis James Sullivan Jr., 50, of Benedict, was arrested Tuesday in North Dakota after contacting a mental health clinic there. He waived extradition and was sent back to Minnesota, where bail was set Friday at $500,000 with the conditions that Sullivan remain in the state, surrender his passport and not have contact with children, according to the Hubbard County attorney’s office.
Sullivan’s attorney said he would request a mental health evaluation, the Hubbard County attorney’s office said. Sullivan’s attorney was not yet listed in online court records Friday afternoon, and the county administrator’s office did not immediately return a message Friday asking who the attorney is.
According to the criminal complaint, Sullivan’s wife went into the boy’s room Tuesday afternoon after hearing a strange sound. She said she saw her husband pushing a plastic glove down the child’s throat as the boy gasped for breath.
Sullivan then pulled the glove out and put it in his pocket, his wife told investigators. She yelled at Sullivan “asking him what he was doing. Sullivan responded that he did not know,” the complaint said.
Sullivan called and then drove to a mental health center in Grand Forks, North Dakota, where he was arrested.
His wife told police that he said he’d had homicidal thoughts. She asked “if this had happened before and he said ‘three more times’ in the immediate past and he only ‘put his hand over (the child’s) mouth for one minute,'” the complaint said.
The document identifies the child only by his initials.
Sullivan also has been charged with first-degree assault-great bodily harm and third-degree assault-substantial bodily harm. He faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
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