DENVER (CBS4) – Two 18-year-olds face child abuse charges after investigators say they got a 9-year-old boy so drunk he had to go to the hospital.
The boy’s mother is outraged over the incident — especially the amount given to her son. He was given five shots of vodka on New Year’s Eve in about an hour and a half. For someone that small that would be like an adult drinking a half bottle of vodka in that same amount of time.
The arrest affidavit says Skyler DeMatteo and Tyrale Haselrig-Graham, who also goes by Rex, invited themselves into their neighbor’s home off 16th Street. The only people in the home were the boy and his big sister. They found some vodka and the suspects told the young boy is was soda.
“The arrest affidavit outlines an allegation that they had the 9-year-old drink as many as five shots of vodka. He was very seriously ill,” Lynn Kimbrough with the Denver District Attorney’s Office said.
The affidavit also says “he had fallen off the chair once and both Skyler and Rex started laughing.”
“When his mother came home and saw the condition he was in she was very alarmed and called for help,” Kimbrough said.
That 9-year-old’s mother spoke to CBS4 and said she found her son vomiting in the bathroom.
“The charges that have resulted from these allegations are very serious,” Kimbrough said.
Angela Bornamenn is the residential services manager for the Arapahoe House, a substance abuse clinic. She says that much alcohol in such a short amount of time is extremely dangerous, especially for a child. The incident could also have long-lasting effects.
“Children that experiment with alcohol increase their likelihood that they’re going to become dependent over those who don’t experience,” Bornamenn said.
In all there are three charges. The most serious charge is child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury. That could carry a sentence of up to 12 years in jail.
“It’s hard to know what these two young men were thinking,” Kimbrough said.
DeMatteo is currently out on bail but Graham is still in custody.