Man Throws Toddler at, Kills Family Dog

A Pennsylvania man, aged 34, is facing charges after allegedly assaulting an 18-month-old child and causing the death of a small dog. Bryan Morales Gracia was arrested over the weekend and charged with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child, among other offenses, as per the local authorities.

The incident occurred on Saturday, May 25, around 10:57 p.m., when the Altoona Police Department received a distress call about an adult male allegedly assaulting a toddler at the Evergreen Manors apartment complex, located approximately 100 miles east of Pittsburgh. The caller, who had a clear view into the home through a window, reported witnessing the man physically abusing the child.

The police report detailed the caller’s account, stating that they had parked their vehicle in such a way that they could see into the bedroom of the apartment. They reportedly saw Gracia holding the child and striking it repeatedly before throwing the child into a Pack-n-Play. The identity of the child, who was the victim of the alleged assault, has not been disclosed by the authorities.

Upon reaching the scene, first responders found the toddler, who showed visible signs of injury. The child had red marks on its cheeks, back, and forehead, and what appeared to be two partial fingerprint marks on its forehead. The toddler was immediately transported to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Altoona for medical attention.

In addition to the injured child, the police also discovered a deceased Chihuahua inside the apartment. The police report indicated that the dog’s death was a result of the violent incident involving the toddler. The report further stated that the child and the Chihuahua were often placed together in the Pack-n-Play and that on the night of the incident, the child was thrown into the Pack-n-Play with such force that it fatally injured the dog.

A security guard on duty that night told the police that following the incident, Gracia and the child’s mother came outside and sat on the sidewalk, while the baby could be heard crying inside the house. Gracia was reportedly holding the dead Chihuahua in his arms. During a subsequent interview with the police, Gracia claimed that he had struck the toddler because the child was hitting the dog. He further stated that he must have accidentally placed the toddler on top of the dog when he put them in the Pack-n-Play together.

Gracia was taken to Blair County Prison and is being held on a $25,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on July 5, according to court records.