RACINE — A father is charged with physically abusing his 9-week-old child after allegedly giving the infant “vaping fluid.”
Dustin L. Appenzeller, 30, is charged with one count of physical abuse of a child, intentionally causing bodily harm.
On Thursday morning, Racine police officers were dispatched to Appenzeller’s home on the 700 block of Thunderbird Drive on a rescue run for a 9-week-old infant experiencing a medical emergency after being given vaping liquid.
According to the complaint:
A witness was awoken by the child and said the child was hungry and asked Appenzeller to get a bottle.
Appenzeller left the room and returned without the bottle. The witness told Appenzeller again to get a bottle, then left to use the restroom.
When the witness returned they saw Appenzeller using the dropper top of the vaping liquid bottle to drop vaping liquid in the child’s mouth.
The witness said, “Oh my God! What did you do? What did you do?”
Appenzeller replied, “I’ve done it before. It’s fine.”
The witness saw the child have difficulty breathing, was foaming at the mouth and appeared to be having a “seizure.”
Appenzeller then allegedly said, “I’m sorry. I’m tired.” The witness then called 911.
Police asked Appenzeller what happened and he replied that he gave the child “a couple drops” of the vaping liquid. When asked why, he said “I don’t know. He was crying. I was really tired.”
The child was transferred to the emergency room by ambulance and poison control was contacted. The child was later transported to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa.
Appenzeller has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Feb. 8 and, if convicted, he could face three years in prison and three years of extended supervision.