LEAGUE CITY — A father charged with injury to a child after his 2-year-old son was found unconscious in a League City garage told police he gets frustrated with the toddler and had been “hitting him harder than he should,” according to a probable cause affidavit.
The boy, Dominic Wells, remained in critical condition Thursday at a Houston hospital. He is not expected to survive his injuries, League City police officer Reagan Pena said.
The boy’s father, 25-year-old Derek Wells, remained at the Galveston County Jail on a $100,000 bond Thursday. Wells requested the appointment of a lawyer, but did not have an attorney listed, according to court records.
Wells called 911 shortly after 3:30 p.m. Tuesday to report his son was unresponsive and “not breathing properly,” according to the affidavit.
First responders found Dominic Wells unconscious in a two-car garage attached to a house in the 2100 block of Redwood Drive and rushed the 2-year-old boy to Clear Lake Regional Hospital.
Doctors determined that “the child had a brain bleed, a possible skull fracture and bruises all over his body,” according to the affidavit. The boy also appeared to be underweight for his age.
Detectives interviewed Derek Wells at the police station, where the father said his toddler son “will fall as he stumbles” and hit his head on the living room floor, according to the affidavit.
Wells initially denied causing his son’s injuries, according to the affidavit.
The child was placed on life support and examined by physicians at Texas Children’s Hospital, who on Wednesday told a League City detective it was a “definite case of child abuse,” according to the affidavit.
Wells was charged with injury to a child and read his Miranda rights by a League City police detective.
Wells then told the officer he was responsible for the injuries to his son, according to the affidavit.
Sylvia Botens and her husband own the house on Redwood Drive where Wells stayed with his son.
Botens told The Daily News she met Wells in North Carolina, as her husband was ending his service in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Botens said Wells was also a former Marine, and she offered him a place to stay after Botens and her husband moved to Texas.
Wells and his son went to Texas, and Wells and the child stayed with Botens and her husband after the mother left, Botens told The Daily News.
Wells refused an offer to stay in the house, saying “he didn’t want to be a burden,” and slept in the garage with his son, Botens said.
Derek Wells worked at a fast-food restaurant, and Botens said she would take care of the child when his father was at work.
Botens and her husband were not home when police arrived, she said.
The garage had a small Elmo bed and a cot, and Botens provided Wells with a portable air conditioner and some fans, she said.
Wells told police he is “basically homeless,” and “comes and goes” from the house on Redwood, according to the affidavit.
An investigation is ongoing, and police are contacting the child’s other relatives, Pena said.
Pena did not know whether Wells had legal custody of his son.
Additional charges could be filed, police said.