Man accused of throwing 2-year-old off 2nd story balcony

Man accused of throwing 2-year-old off second story balcony

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Kissimmee Police are charging a man with attempted first-degree murder after he allegedly threw a 2-year-old from a second story balcony.

Authorities say 41-year-old Juan Pablo Maradiaga threw the 2-year-old from the second floor of the Budget Inn on East Vine Street in Kissimmee around 12:30am Tuesday morning.

Officials say after Maradiaga threw the child he also jumped off the balcony.  At 12:30 Tuesday morning, 911 operators received a frantic phone call from a driver. 

"I have a baby and a young man that's lying on the ground. They're out," said the caller who was in the parking lot of the motel.  "It's a child and an adult.  I just pulled up in the parking lot and seen them lying on the ground unconscious."

Investigators said Maradiaga wreaked of alcohol and lay motionless next to the motel stairs.  Witnesses found his son several feet away not moving.  Both were flown to local hospitals.

At first, investigators thought Maradiaga fell down the stairs, because he was drunk, according to a police report.  But investigators said two surveillance cameras revealed a much more disturbing set of circumstances. 

"He walked out of the room and threw the baby into the parking lot and then jumped," said Kissimmee Police Spokesperson Stacie Miller. 

The drop from the second story balcony was more than 11 feet.  Investigators said the child was thrown about 25 feet before falling to the ground.

Police said 24 hours prior to this incident, the child's mother had taken the boy to the hospital with severe diarrhea.  Typically, the mother leaves the child with a babysitter when she goes to work, according to arrest records, but she told detectives Maradiaga wanted to spend time with his son that night.  By midnight, police said Maradiaga had had enough. 

"The father called the baby's mother and said he was frustrated; she needed to come back and get the child.  She was not able to leave work, and within 30 minutes, the incident occurred," said Miller.

Both father and son are listed in critical but stable condition.  Investigators said the toddler suffered a fractured arm and eye socket, had a huge knot on his forehead and several cuts across his stomach.  Doctors are still doing tests to determine if there is any internal damage. 

Maradiaga underwent foot surgery.  He will be officially charged and hauled off to jail as soon as his condition improves. 

Police said they are working with the Department of Children and Families on this case. Maradiaga has been charged with domestic violence against his son's mother before the boy was born, according to investigators.  Police said the mother decided she did not want to participate in prosecuting those cases, so the State Attorneys Office dropped the charges against Maradiaga.


FOX 35's Kayla O'Brien contributed to this report.

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