Man tells judge he punched toddler because he's 'not a morning person' - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Man tells judge he punched toddler because he's 'not a morning person'

EASTON, Pa. (AP) - A man who admitted he beat his girlfriend's 2-year-old son offered an excuse that angered a judge: He said he's not a morning person.

Juan Arreola, 20, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts each of endangering the welfare of a child, reckless endangerment and simple assault.

Prosecutors said while moving into a new apartment with his girlfriend on June 7, Arreola kicked her son out of the way, then squeezed the toddler's face.

While looking after the boy three days later, he punched the boy twice, prosecutors said. Arreola's girlfriend brought the child to a hospital later that day, where he was diagnosed with bleeding around the brain.

Photos show the boy with severe bruising on his face and back. When Northampton County Judge F.P. Kimberly McFadden asked Arreola Friday if that's how he regularly treated 2-year-olds, he replied: "I was working till midnight. I'm not a morning person."

McFadden said she was almost speechless. "You're going to look at me straight in the face and say 'I'm not a morning person,'?" she asked.

The judge ordered Arreola to undergo psychological and psychiatric evaluations and set sentencing for Dec. 14. The maximum penalty is a state prison term of more than 20 years.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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