A Roy man is facing criminal charges after putting his infant daughter in a freezer because she was crying and he wanted to sleep, according to authorities.
Tyler James Deutsch, 25, was charged last week in Pierce County Superior Court with assault of a child, criminal mistreatment and interfering with the reporting of domestic violence. He pleaded not guilty in an arraignment May 28.
Authorities said the six-week-old girl was in the freezer for an undetermined length of time, but long enough for her temperature to drop to 84 degrees. She had blistered skin when medics treated her and took her to a hospital’s trauma center. Doctors there determined she also had suffered a broken arm, a broken leg and a head injury. They believe she will survive, but it’s too soon to assess long-term complications, authorities reported.
“This is one of those crimes that defy understanding,” said Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist. “Our prayers are with the baby.”
On May 25, Pierce County Sheriff deputies and local firefighters were dispatched to a home in Roy in response to a reported domestic dispute. Investigators learned that the the baby’s mother, who lives with Deutsch, left the infant alone with him from approximately 1:30 to 3:30 that afternoon. The mother returned and, as she walked into the hom, saw Deutsch removing the baby, who was clothed only in a diaper, from the freezer, prosecutors said.
The mother tried to call for help, but Deutsch took the phone and told her he didn’t want to get in trouble. The mother left and had neighbors call 9-1-1, prosecutors said.
Deutsch told detectives that he was tired and the baby was crying, so he put her in the freezer and closed the door. He fell asleep and woke up when the mother returned, prosecutors said.
Authorities said the freezer contained a bag of cauliflower, a partial bag of ice and a thermometer that read 10 degrees.