GREELEY, Colo. -- A Greeley toddler clings to life after police said his mother’s boyfriend abused him. It happened Monday about 1:45 p.m. in the “Friendly Village” mobile home park at 200 North 35th Avenue.
The boyfriend, John Melvin White, 33, told police the dog had knocked the child over.
Michael Lara, 2, was unresponsive and not breathing when paramedics rushed him to North Colorado Medical Center. He was then airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Aurora where he’s in critical condition.
“It’s usually very quiet. I didn’t know anybody lived there,” said neighbor Rita Hirsch.
But that quiet was shattered by the pandemonium of a child critically injured inside the home at 10 Village Drive.
“I heard about the yelling and screaming that went on,” Hirsch said.
Neighbors told her about how a man, now identified as White, frantically looked for help for his girlfriend’s young son.
“You are shocked when it’s a little kid. Why a kid? Why a kid? They don’t do anything wrong,” she said.
Police said White--who had recently moved into the home--was supposed to be watching the boy, but hurt him instead.
“There are scrapes, bumps and bruises. Nothing that appears that would cause unconsciousness on the child’s part,” said Sgt. Joe Tymkowych with Greeley Police.
A source told us White told police the family’s dog knocked the boy over.
“There were gaps in the story. Things inconsistent enough to the point we felt we could make the arrest,” Tymkowych said.
“I saw lot of cops, a lot of cops, like 10,” said neighbor Miguel Cervantes about the scene outside his home Monday.
He said he never saw the little boy at the home--only his sister--and it hurt his heart.
“This is hard. Because we have kids too. You never want something to happen to your kids,” he said.
But something awful did happen to a toddler who lived here, at the hands, police say, of a caretaker turned abuser.
“It’s tragic. We are pouring a lot of manpower into finding out what happened and we will do that,” said Tymkowych.
White has an extensive criminal history dating back about seven years in seven Colorado cities and counties including Loveland, Lone Tree, Aurora and Denver.
He remained in jail Tuesday on felony child abuse and $150,000 bond.
The little girl in the home was at school at the time. The boy’s mother was at work.