By Karl Terry
The uncle of a 10-month-old boy who fell from a deck on Oct. 4 has been arrested in connection with the case.
Derek Parker, 22, of Clovis, was charged with abandonment abuse of a child, a first-degree felony, Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said. Parker turned himself into Portales police on Monday after a warrant was issued, Berry said.
Parker was booked, then released on a $5,000 appearance bond in front of Judge Jane Martin of Roosevelt County Magistrate Court.
“The child was in his (Parker’s) care when he crawled out the front door and fell off the balcony,” Berry said.
Dominic Roy crawled out the front door of his family’s home on South Avenue E and fell about 9-1/2 feet onto a sidewalk, police have said. He was hospitalized for two weeks, but has since returned home.
Dominic is the son of Jeremy and Kristen Roy of Portales.
Berry said the boy’s mother was at home at the time of the incident, but was in another room.
“He (Parker) was on a couch 15 feet away when the child crawled out on the balcony,” Berry said.
Dominic was transported to Roosevelt General Hospital and then transferred to a Lubbock hospital where he spent several days in intensive care. Family members said Dominic suffered from a fractured skull and a blood clot on the brain.
Berry said his department’s decision to charge Parker wasn’t an easy one and it turned on the question of “great bodily harm,” which was required for the first-degree felony charge.
“We typically look at the total situation,” said Berry, in explaining how the charges were determined. “We typically look at the degree of negligence. We were at that apartment for quite some time in this investigation.
“Not every situation like that warrants someone getting arrested,” Berry said.
Kristen Roy told the PNT late Tuesday she was unaware Parker had been arrested in the case. She said she knew of the warrant but didn’t know of any charges.
“The door wasn’t intentionally left open,” Kristen Roy said.
Asked if she felt someone should be charged in the case, Roy said she felt it was an accident.
Parker declined comment.
Kristen Roy said Dominic was released from the hospital on Oct. 19.
“Doctors said he’s doing great, he’s a miracle baby and we should be thankful,” she said.