A Winthrop man was arrested and charged with aggravated assault in connection with an attack on a woman and a 2-year-old boy in which police say he broke two of the toddler’s ribs and slashed the woman’s right thigh with a knife early Monday.

Brian Diaz

Officers arrested Brian Diaz, 23, after receiving a 911 call early Monday from an apartment at 81 Bowdoin St., Winthrop police said in a statement Tuesday night.

Diaz was charged with aggravated assault involving domestic violence, a felony, and taken to the Kennebec County Jail in Augusta, where he was being held Wednesday in lieu of $25,000 bail. If released, he wouldn’t be allowed to contact the woman or the child.

The woman and boy were taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, then to Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Besides the broken ribs, the toddler had facial injuries, according to an affidavit by Officer Timothy Falvey of the Winthrop Police Department. The woman was cut on her right thigh and right hand.

The aggravated assault charge is a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a $20,000 fine. The complaint also charges Diaz with assault on a child younger than 6 years old, a Class C felony.

During Diaz’s initial court appearance Monday, he offered no answer to the charges, a clerk at the Capital Judicial Center said.

The Press Herald does not identify victims of domestic violence without their consent.

The conditions of the boy and the woman were not available Wednesday. A spokesperson at Maine Medical Center said the hospital has no information about the woman and can’t comment on whether the boy is a patient there.

In court documents, police said Diaz and the woman had been in a domestic relationship for several months and that he was angry about an “apparent breakup.”

They had an argument Sunday, but both told police that it didn’t turn physical at that point.

At some point, Diaz left the apartment, then returned late that day or early Monday, according to Falvey’s affidavit. Around 5 a.m. Monday, Diaz attacked the woman and the boy, the affidavit says.

The woman told police that he slapped her face, grabbed her around the neck and used a yellow utility knife to slash her right thigh as she struggled with him, also cutting her right hand. The woman went to the bathroom, but could hear Diaz enter a separate bedroom and start hitting the boy, she told police.

Police found the knife and dried blood that supported the woman’s account, Falvey said.

Police initially arrested Diaz around 5:49 a.m. Monday after they received a call from the Bowdoin Street apartment.

When Falvey went to the apartment, he saw no signs that anyone had been injured, and no one mentioned the alleged assaults, he said in the affidavit. But there was an outstanding warrant for Diaz’s arrest related to unpaid fines for a prior theft charge, so Falvey started taking Diaz to jail.

While they were en route, the woman called police to report the alleged assault on the boy. When Falvey asked Diaz about the allegation, he initially admitted to having an argument with the woman but denied that an assault had taken place and started to cry, the affidavit said.

“I arrived at the jail and asked him again if an assault had taken place, involving a child,” Falvey said in the affidavit. “He stated that he may have played a little rough, but no assault took place. He was crying and stating that it does not matter what he says, because she will claim it happened. He gave no further statement.”

When Falvey later spoke with the woman, she said that she was too scared to mention the alleged assaults when the officer first arrived at the apartment.

Police still are investigating the case.

Falvey also said that the state Department of Health and Human Services “is involved in this case as well” and had “been contacted by other concerned adults prior to the incidents in this affidavit.”

A spokeswoman for the state agency said she could not confirm or deny its involvement in the case. She pointed to legislation that keeps records of child protective cases confidential.

Charles Eichacker can be contacted at 621-5642 or at:
[email protected]
Twitter: @ceichacker

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