Affidavit details injuries to 3-year-old after child’s mother, her boyfriend arrested for alleged abuse

SAN ANTONIO – An arrest warrant affidavit provides even more horrific details about the Thursday arrest of a woman and her boyfriend for the alleged abuse of a 3-year-old child.

It’s a case that Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar called “infuriating and sad.”

The child was hospitalized three times within a month with serious injuries. He’s currently in the hospital and his recovery is expected to be long, Salazar said.

The child’s mother, Brandy Laurel, 24, and her boyfriend, Justin Garcia, 25, are each charged with injury to a child causing serious bodily injury – reckless, a second-degree felony.

First hospital visit: April 22

According to the affidavit, the boy was taken to Methodist Children’s Hospital on April 22 for a head injury but hospital workers hadn’t called authorities since abuse had not been suspected.

Second hospital visit: May 2

A deputy was called to Methodist Children’s Hospital for a report of an injured child. The charge nurse told the deputy that the child had a brain bleed, swelling all over the head, a black eye and bruises on his back and legs that were in different stages of healing.

The child had bruising and a healing scab under his hair that the nurse said could be from his hair being pulled or from being struck.

Laurel told the deputy that the injuries could have been from the child playing with his siblings or fighting over toys, but said she hadn’t witnessed any incidents, the affidavit states.

Unlike the April 22 visit, medical staff was concerned about abuse this time because of the injuries “all over the child.”

A head CT revealed that the child had a subgaleal hemorrhage. He also had increased liver functions. Medical staff also documented that the boy had bruising to his right temple that appeared to resemble a shoe imprint.

Laurel told hospital staff the injuries were from the child being hit with a toy by a 1-year-old sibling.

After this hospital visit, Child Protective Services implemented a safety plan and placed the child in the custody of family members in Dimmit County with allowed supervised visits, Salazar said.

Third hospital visit: May 21

The child was brought to the Dimmit County Regional Hospital by ambulance because he was not able to walk and refused to expand his legs. Salazar said Laurel was with the child before he was transported which could have been a violation of the CPS safety plan.

An X-ray revealed fractures to his left distal femur and a fracture to the right proximal tibia and fibula. A CT scan showed injuries to his skull.

Laurel told medical staff that she didn’t know what caused the injuries to his legs and said he was “walking fine” two days before. She said the head injury could have been from throwing a tantrum.

A pediatric child abuse specialist from UT Health San Antonio said the injuries could have been the result of a “Boston crab” wrestling maneuver with someone flipping the child over from his back to his stomach by his legs.

The child was transferred to University Hospital on May 22 for surgery to correct the broken bones in his legs.

A spokesperson said the child and his 1-year-old sibling are now in CPS custody.

Previous abuse allegations against Laurel

Bexar County court records show that Laurel has a previous arrest.

In October 2020, Laurel was charged with assault with bodily injury to a family/household member.

The case was dismissed earlier this month due to insufficient evidence.

Laurel and Garcia are both in the Bexar County Jail. Each has a bond set at $100,000.

Salazar said it’s likely the couple could face additional charges in Dimmit County.

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