By Eric Stevick Herald Writer
EVERETT — The suspect’s first explanation didn’t add up.
Nor did his second.
Eventually, after failing a polygraph, he allegedly told a Marysville police detective that he “lost it” on April 7 while watching after his girlfriend’s 15-month-old daughter and shoved the toddler’s head into a bedroom door.
The girl first was taken to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett before being transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Her right eye was swollen shut and she had a skull fracture as well as bleeding around the brain tissue.
Danny L. Towner, 26, was arrested Wednesday for investigation of domestic-violence assault of a child. He was booked into the Snohomish County Jail.
Police received a referral from a Child Protective Services worker on April 8. The report indicated that the boyfriend had taken the girl and her sister to a playground and stepped away to have a cigarette, only to find her under a slide when he returned.
Hospital staff at Providence told CPS that the explanation for the injury seemed unlikely.
The detective interviewed a Seattle doctor who specializes in child abuse cases. The pediatrician said the child “would not have sustained the skull fracture she has from the short fall” as described by the suspect, court records said.
Towner then allegedly told the detective that he knocked the girl down as he was running after burning food on the stove. He said he thought the injuries must have been from hitting her with his knee.
Again, the detective spoke with the specialist who cast doubt on the suspect’s account.
On April 10, a Child Protective Services worker and the girl’s mother met with the detective. The pair said they found damage to a bedroom door in the home. Two strands of hair were stuck in the cracked laminate.
The mother said she was positive the damage had not been there before April 7.
The door was seized as evidence.
Towner allegedly admitted hitting the girl’s head against the door, court papers said. He reportedly blamed his actions on fatigue.
In Everett District Court on Thursday, Judge Tam Bui set bail at $100,000. She also ordered that Towner have no contact with children or the disciplining of children if he is released.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, firstname.lastname@example.org.