WASHINGTON TWP. (WWJ) – A 26-year-old Macomb County man has been charged with first degree child abuse, accused of severely beating his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son.
Damian Sutton was listed critical condition Friday morning at Children’s Hospital in Detroit after police say he suffered terrible abuse at the hands of Ronald Dimambro.
Family members said at first, they thought the toddler had fallen out of a playpen at his Washington Township home on Tuesday — but they quickly became suspicious.
Damien’s mother, Nicki Sutton, believes Dimambro deliberately injured the boy over jealously and says she hopes he goes to prison for life.
“Because Damien deserves justice,” she told reporters, through tears. “He is such a beautiful boy who had a lot stolen from him, and it wasn’t his fault … and he’s mommy’s here for him.”
Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said Dimambro, who eventually turned himself in, admitted that he shook the boy roughly and then threw him.
According to Damien’s father, Timothy Sutton, Dimambro had initially claimed the boy had had an asthma attack.
Sutton told WWJ’s Mike Campbell he’s now left trying to understand why his ex-wife’s boyfriend would do this to a child.
“Was he mad, or was it just because he wanted to? That’s what I wanna know,” Sutton said. “How did a 27-year-old man get so agitated by a 2-year-old boy to do this to him?”
Hospital personnel told authorities the child suffered from severe head trauma consistent with “shaken baby syndrome.”
Sutton told reporters his son remains in a medically induced coma, due to bleeding and massive swelling in his brain. “Like the doctor told me, it’s going to be a really touchy situation. Nobody’s sure what’s going to happen.” he said.
Sutton said doctors told him if the boy does survive, he will have brain damage.
Nicki Sutton says “miracles do happen,” and she’s holding out hope for her son’s recovery.
Dimambro was arraigned Friday in 42nd District Court in Romeo. He’s being held on a $500,000 cash/surety bond.
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A benefit will be held for Damian Sutton at the Alibi Bar in Warren on Saturday night (Aug. 24). Dinner will be served at 7 p.m.