CRIME

Pennsylvania man ripped teeth from autistic boy, 4, police say

Nicholas Kernechel was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

Nicholas Kernechel was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and endangering the welfare of a child.  (Montgomery County District Attorney)

A Pennsylvania man was charged with assault this month after his girlfriend’s 4-year-old autistic son was found with three of his teeth ripped out.

Following a three-month investigation, Nicholas Kernechel, 27, was arrested on Sept. 17 on charges of aggravated assault, simple assault and endangering the welfare of a child, FOX29 reported.

“The teeth were recovered, they were intact from the root to the edge of the tooth,” Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman told CBS Philly. “They were bloodied. And they have striations on them that would indicate that a tool of some sort was used to remove them from the child’s mouth.”

"[The teeth] have striations on them that would indicate that a tool of some sort was used to remove them from the child’s mouth”

- Risa Ferman, Montgomery County DA

Kernechel is being held on $100,000 bail and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 1. Neither the boy nor his mother is being identified.

Kernechel was allegedly asked to look after the boy for a few hours in July while the child’s mother was away at work. Kernechel left the boy “in his bed, bleeding and crying and failed to tell his mother about the injuries until she returned to the apartment in the early-morning hours,” police told FOX 29.

The mother went to police, holding the boy’s teeth in a sandwich bag, according to the Morning Call. When police responded to the apartment, they found blood splatter on the wall next to the bed, on the sheets, pillowcase and floor.

The boy told cops Kernechel “hit and take [the teeth] out,” according to the Morning Call. He allegedly told detectives about other, earlier injuries, too, including bite marks and bruises to his arms.