Sumner man charged with assaulting baby girl

Staff writerJune 12, 2014 

Pierce County prosecutors have charged a Sumner man with first-degree child assault in the case of a 1-year-old girl who is partially paralyzed from the beating.

Eli Tomal, 31, is scheduled to be arraigned June 24.

The assault allegedly took place Jan. 28 at the home Tomal shared with his pregnant girlfriend and her daughter in the 600 block of Wood Avenue.

The baby’s mother called 911 that day to report that her daughter wouldn’t wake up, wasn’t breathing properly and appeared to have suffered some kind of seizure.

She told officers that she’d left the house for about 15 minutes while Tomal watched the baby. Tomal allegedly claimed the little girl fell on her back on a flashlight while crawling on the bed.

He “denied that he intentionally or accidentally injured her,” according to charging papers.

Neurosurgeons said the child’s injuries were likely caused by violent shaking.

The baby underwent emergency surgery and had a titanium plate installed in her head. She is paralyzed on her right side, has limited speech development and lacks overall strength, court records indicate. The baby also must undergo physical therapy five times a week and must use a feeding tube.

She has been placed in protective custody.

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