The mother of a 2-year-old Mansfield girl who arrived at an Arlington hospital unconscious earlier this month has been arrested. Ryka Hopper is in the Mansfield Jail where she faces a charge of injury to a child by omission. Her bond had been set at $100,000.
Hopper's live-in boyfriend, Adam Carroll Palmer, 27, was arrested earlier this month. He faces two counts of causing serious bodily injury to a child and an aggravated-assault charge and his bond was set at $450,000. Hopper and her two daughters, ages 5 and 2, arrived at an Arlington hospital on July 12 with bruises and other injuries to their bodies.
The 2-year-old was unconscious and had injuries to the brain, including blood and contusions. She was later taken by air ambulance to Medical City Hospital in Dallas, where she remains in a coma.
Hopper said she had arrived home and found the 2-year-old unconscious on the floor, according to the affidavit. She said Palmer told her that the toddler had a seizure. She then stated that the child remained on the floor for more than 16 hours before she finally regained consciousness and started crying. Because the crying awakened Palmer, he picked the 2-year-old up "like a rag doll and threw her to the floor and told her to shut up," Hopper told police.
The toddler whimpered on the floor until she went to sleep, according to the affidavit. After the incident, the girl could not walk or use her right hand and had trouble speaking, the affidavit says. According to court records, Palmer was given deferred adjudication on an injury-to-a-child case that occurred in 2003, but that probation was revoked in 2008 and he was sentenced to prison.
The fact that a mother can sit there while her child is unconscious for over 16 hours without getting worried just shows an extreme amount of recklessness and irresponsibility as a parent. This kind of child abuse should not be tolerated. Parent negligence is usually the cause of child injury, and this woman was aiding in this criminal act by not saying anything or reporting the abuse to the police.
I hope this investigation gives justice to a toddler that was critically injured for no apparent reason. As a parent myself, I find this kind of act despicable. It just shows cowardice and ignorance on the guardians' part.
Information and commentary is provided by Dallas/Fort Worth Child Injury Lawyer Mark Anderson. The Anderson Law Firm can be reached in Fort Worth at 817-294-1900 or in Dallas at 214-327-8000. For more information on child injuries, fill out our contact form online for a free consultation.