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Two arrested for assaulting child in unrelated cases

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WORTHINGTON -- Two Worthington residents were charged with assaulting a child in unrelated cases this week in Nobles County District Court.

On Tuesday, an application for a public defender was approved for 24-year-old Phonkham Nang Soupommanichanh of Worthington, who is charged in Nobles County District Court with third-degree assault, malicious punishment of a child and domestic assault.

Saturday afternoon, an officer was sent to the Sanford Medical Center in reference to an alleged victim of domestic violence, according to the criminal complaint.

At the emergency room, the officer met with a 6-year-old child who said his mother had jumped on his arm.

The child had a severe fracture of his forearm, with both the radius and ulna bones broken near the wrist.

The officer was told it would take a lot of force to break the bone of a child that age, the complaint states.

The officer spoke to the child's father, who said the boy lives with his mother, Soupommanichanh.

The father said he had picked up the child for a weekend visit, and the child told him what had happened and said his arm hurt, so the father took the child to the hospital.

When the officer spoke to the boy, he was unable to state exactly when the incident had taken place.

At the child's home, the officer spoke with the other children. No one claimed to have seen the incident happen, but one of the children said she had heard Soupommanichanh yelling in the boy's room.

Soupommanichanh was located, and after being advised of her rights, declined to give a statement.

In an unrelated case, authorities had also been called the emergency room the day before on a suspected child abuse complaint.

At approximately 7:30 p.m. Friday, an officer was summoned to the Sanford Medical Center emergency room, and as a result, Elmer Lopez-Lopez was arrested.

He was charged Monday with third-degree assault of a victim under the age of 4 and domestic assault.

The complaint states a woman brought her 6-month-old infant to daycare Wednesday, where the child usually stays until its father, Lopez-Lopez, picks it up around 7 p.m.

When the mother got home from work around 3 a.m., she covered up the baby.

She did not notice any marks on the child because the baby was sleeping on his side, she told authorities.

When she got up later that morning, she asked another one of her children what had happened, and the older child said Lopez-Lopez had slapped the baby.

The mother said Lopez-Lopez is the father of all four of her children and had hit the baby on another occasion about six weeks earlier.

She allegedly said she was afraid of Lopez-Lopez because of his past violence, but because she doesn't speak English, she didn't know where to go for help.

When authorities looked at the child, they found bruising on the left side of the infant's face consistent with big slapped with an open hand.

There was also a bruise on the infant's chest.

An officer located Lopez-Lopez at his residence and arrested him.

After being advised of his rights, Lopez-Lopez declined to give a statement.