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Man accused of mistreating child

A 21-year-old Farmington man faces four felony charges of malicious punishment of a child after admitting to police he "snapped" while caring for his landlords' 10-month-old baby.

According to a complaint filed in the Dakota County Attorney's office the child's parents brought their son to the hospital Feb. 21 because his arm seemed stiff. Doctors found several injuries, including arm, skull and rib fractures and injuries to the boy's mouth and face.

Bunthang Ponn lives rent-free with a Farmington family and cares for the child while the boy's parents are at work.

Farmington police questioned Ponn Feb. 25. According to the complaint, Ponn reported losing control about three weeks ago when the baby was crying.

He said he picked the child up and squeezed and shook him. He said he would also sometimes toss the child into the air and that a few weeks ago he failed to catch the boy.

Ponn told police he slipped Feb. 20 while carrying the boy up the stairs and fell forward onto him. He said the child hit his head on the stairs, and said he "whacked" the boy with the back of his arm, sending him falling down the stairs.

Ponn said when he picked the child up the boy's arm appeared to be bent. He said he grabbed the boy's arm and twisted it up by his ear. He reported hearing the child's bones "clicking," the report states.

Ponn said he didn't tell anyone about any of the incidents because he did not want the boy's parents to think he was a bad person.

Each of the four malicious punishment charges Ponn faces carries a potential sentence of up to five years in jail and fines of up to $10,000.

Ponn's is scheduled to appear in court March 24.