MONTICELLO, Minn. (WCCO) — Once again, a toddler is fighting for his life after an alleged beating at the hands of an adult.
Braydon Decker was discovered unresponsive Tuesday afternoon in Monticello and rushed to the local hospital with a traumatic brain injury.READ MORE: 'Bumpy Ride': Minnesota Legislature Continues Special Session Work, As Deadline Before Shutdown Looms
Doctors had the child transferred to Children’s Hospital in St. Paul following a CT scan, where he remains in critical condition.
Braydon should be celebrating his second birthday on Oct. 1. He is instead in a coma, and fighting for survival.
Neighbor Krista Jackson would often see the little boy playing outside his Monticello apartment building on East 7th Street, where he lived with his mother and her boyfriend, 21-year-old Matthew Stewart.
“He would call Matt ‘Daddy’ all the time,” Jackson said.
Stewart was in a Wright County courtroom Thursday, where he faced formal charges of first-degree assault. Other charges will follow should the boy’s condition not improve.
“I just don’t understand how that could even happen,” Jackson said. “When I seen Matt with him all the time and I’d never even would have guessed it.”
Wright County investigators say Stewart was putting the boy down for a nap when he began crying and throwing a “tantrum.” Stewart was alone with the boy in the bedroom as his mother was elsewhere in their apartment.READ MORE: Minnesota Unemployment Rate Drops To 4% As Businesses Scramble To Hire
According to the criminal complaint, Stewart says he went in minutes later and discovered Braydon appearing to be suffering from a seizure, biting his tongue and his arms reaching to the side of his head.
Braydon was rushed to the Monticello hospital where an initial examination was performed. Physicians later contacted Wright County investigators when they determined he had suffered severe head trauma.
“It’s a very senseless assault on a very vulnerable child,” Assistant Wright County Attorney Mark Erickson said.
He says that neither Stewart nor the boy’s mother reported any accidents or falls when they gave statements to investigators. Physicians say the seizure-like symptoms would have been immediate following a massive head trauma.
“Given just the severe nature of the injuries, absence some accidental explanation such as a car accident, the diagnosis is typically child abuse,” Erickson said.
At least four infants and toddlers have been beaten to death or seriously assaulted at the hands of adults in and around the Twin Cities since last spring.
A Wright County Judge set Stewart’s bail at $1 million.MORE NEWS: Political Analyst Says No DFL Endorsement For Mayor Benefits Incumbent Jacob Frey
Click here to visit Braydon’s CaringBridge site.