A Nellis Air Force Base staff sergeant was arrested on child abuse charges after his 3-month-old son was rushed to the hospital with what authorities said was “abusive head trauma.”
Staff Sgt. Andrew Leach of the 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron faces one felony count of child abuse, neglect or endangerment with substantial bodily harm for injuries his son Aiden Leach suffered on Feb. 1, court documents said.
Aiden was airlifted to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center after being treated at the base hospital. He was in critical condition when he was admitted to Sunrise Hospital. His current condition was not known.
During an interview with Las Vegas police, Leach said he dropped his son on a tile floor while testing the water for a bath he was preparing for the boy.
The boy spit up and his arms and legs stiffened, Leach told detectives. The infant then stopped breathing. The father ran around his home looking for a phone to call 911 before asking his neighbors for help.
“The defendant stated he believes Aiden’s injuries could be from him shaking to revive him,” Leach told detectives, according to his arrest report.
He also said he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, alcohol and drug dependency and depression, the report said. In January, he completed treatment for mental health issues.
A Nellis spokeswoman said information about any previous combat deployments Leach might have made to Afghanistan, Iraq or overseas locations in support of the global war on terrorism was unavailable late Friday.
His unit, the 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron, provides management for vehicles, fuel and supply operations when other Nellis units are deployed, according to a Nellis fact sheet.
Leach said he has had two other accidents with his son, including one in which the boy slipped from his arms and fell in the bath.
“The defendant denied causing Aiden’s injuries in any other manner than what he described,” the report said.
The boy’s mother, Kelly Leach, told detectives that she left the home to go grocery shopping, Aiden was smiling and laughing. Andrew Leach had told her he dropped the boy on the floor while checking the bathwater, Kelly Leach said.
She added, “The defendant has always been ‘rough with the baby’ but she tries not to say anything. Kelly (Leach) denied she has ever seen the defendant be abusive with Aiden but described multiple domestic violence incidents between her and the defendant,” the police report said.
A preliminary hearing was set for Feb. 20 in North Las Vegas Justice Court, when prosecutors must show they have enough evidence to take the case to trial.
Andrew Leach was ordered held on $20,000 bail but no longer appears in custody, Clark County jail records show.
Las Vegas Review-Journal writer Keith Rogers contributed to this report. Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@review journal.com or 702-380-1039.