Toddler beaten; suspect arrested

TYLER (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - A 28-year-old man was behind bars Monday following his arrest on charges of assaulting a 2-year-old child, Smith County Sheriff's Office officials said.

Joshua Williams, boyfriend of the child's mother, was arrested and charged with injury to a child in an incident that occurred last week, officials said. Williams remained jailed Monday on a $200,000 bond.

Smith County Sgt. Ron Rathbun said his office was called to Farm-to-Market Road 848 on Nov. 20 for an unresponsive child.

Family members said the girl, taken to a Dallas hospital, suffered intestinal tears, five broken ribs, a bruised spleen, a ruptured aorta artery and bruises to her entire body, including what the family described as a fist print on her forehead.

"One nurse told us it looked like someone stomped on her with their foot," said Ruby Bowling, the child's grandmother.

Rathbun said the investigation was ongoing. He said the child was savagely beaten.

"This never gets easier, seeing cases like this. Anytime a child is involved, it just hits you hard," he said.

Rathbun said his department was working with Child Protective Services in the case, and they are looking at recent injuries, including a concussion the child suffered in August.

Family members said doctors were optimistic about the child's recovery.

Family members said they were opening the Bella Bowling Fund at the Citizen State Bank in Chandler in hopes of offsetting some of the medical costs associated with the child's recovery.


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