The Ottumwa Courier

June 5, 2013

Teen pleads not guilty to toddler assault

Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — The man accused of beating an Ottumwa toddler pleaded not guilty.

Dustin Dewayne Armstrong, 19, of Ottumwa, was arrested at his home Monday on charges of multiple acts of child endangerment, a Class B felony, and willful injury, a Class C felony. On Tuesday, he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He is being held in Wapello County Jail on $50,000 cash-only bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. June 14.

On April 22, Ottumwa police officers arrived at 117 E. Woodland Ave. to find 2-year-old Brayden Young unresponsive. He was transported to Ottumwa Regional Health Center, where emergency room staff determined that he had "traumatic head injuries," prompting him being life-flighted to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, where he remains until he heads to rehabilitation in Des Moines, according to family.

Initial interviews with the toddler's mother, Lauren Young, and her boyfriend, Armstrong, led an Ottumwa investigator to question Armstrong's account of events. He was the only adult at the home that night and called 911 after Brayden was injured.

Armstrong told law enforcement that Brayden had a seizure and that he "might have shaken Brayden vigorously" trying to wake him up.