AUSTIN, Texas - Austin police have arrested and charged a man they say hit his daughter twice in the face, causing her to bleed from her nose and mouth.
Juan Carlos Hernandez, 32, was charged with third-degree felony injury to a child.
According to an arrest affidavit, a woman called 9-1-1 on Feb. 2 at 4:12 p.m. to report an assault. She was driving on Garbacz Drive on South Austin to meet someone and pulled over to check the address on her phone. She said she saw a man hitting a girl in the head and face in a car parked a vehicle ahead of her. She said the girl ran out of the car with blood on her face and into a home across the street.
The witness said the man left the scene after changing his shirt. Officers later responded to the scene but did not find the victim or suspect, says the affidavit.
Thirty minutes later, a woman called 9-1-1 to report her daughter was assaulted by her father. Officers and EMS responded and found the girl with blood in her nose, a cut on the bridge of her nose, cuts on the inside of her top and bottom lip. The victim's injuries were photographed and she identified her father as Carlos, who was later identified as Hernandez.
Officers conducted a photo array with the witness on Feb. 7 and she positively identified Hernandez as the man she saw assaulting the victim, says the affidavit. On Feb. 11, the victim was interviewed and said she had spent the weekend with her father because her birthday was in a few days. She said she was in the living room watching a movie with family and got into an argument with her father's girlfriend's sister. The argument escalated and she swore at the sister.
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The victim said she then ran upstairs and locked herself in the bathroom, calling her mom to pick her up. Hernandez told her to get her things and that he would take her home. The victim said they were then in the car and arguing and Hernandez hit her on the nose and mouth with the back of his hand, says the affidavit.
She said she put her hands up and asked him why he hit her. She said he hit her a second time in the same way and told her not to talk to him in that manner. She described the backhand was like a punch and said that Hernandez hit her hard and was angry at the time. She said her face "stung so bad and hurt," says the affidavit.
The affidavit says he then got out of the car and went around to the passenger side. The victim jumped over to the driver side seat and said Hernandez took her phone away because she wanted to call her mom. He took his shirt off to wipe the blood off her face and then she ran back into the house. She said she was crying and told Hernandez and his girlfriend she wanted to go home. She said he told his girlfriend he hit the victim because she tried to hit him in the car.
Hernandez dropped the victim off with her mother and the victim said Hernandez apologized for hitting her.
Officers also interviewed the victim's mother who said her daughter had called her crying hysterically saying she wanted to come home, says the affidavit. The victim then called her back saying her dad was driving her home and they decided to meet halfway. The victim told her mother over the phone that Hernandez had hit her. Her mother said Hernandez and her daughter were waiting in a parking lot when she arrived and that Hernandez came over to her window and apologized to her for hitting the victim.
The mother drove away and called 9-1-1, according to the affidavit. She stated the victim had a busted lip and a bloody nose. The mother said the victim told her Hernandez had hit her with the back of his hand twice.
Hernandez was arrested on a second-degree felony robbery warrant and interviewed by Child Abuse Unit detectives, says the affidavit. Hernandez said the victim spent the weekend with him prior to her birthday and that the victim had gotten in an argument with his girlfriend's sister and it escalated.
He said the victim was being very disrespectful and locked herself in the bathroom and called her mom to pick her up. He said he told the victim to get her things and he would take her home, says the affidavit. He said he told the victim she had anger issues and was being disrespectful and that the victim said something back. He admitted he "smacked" the victim only one time and didn't remember hitting her twice.
According to the affidavit, he said the victim's mother sent him a picture of the victim in a text after she called the police. He said the victim's lip appeared swollen but denied making her bleed.