21-year-old Aaron Vanmeter of Hancock has been arrested and charged with child abuse after kicking his girlfriend’s 6-year-old special needs son in the head with a steel-toed work boot because he was not listening to him.

The police discovered the injuries on the boy when they responded to a call on July 3rd for a child who had stopped breathing. When the officer arrived on the scene, the 6-year-old had bruises on his face, head, arms and legs. Vanmeter and the boy’s mother initially told the police that the boy had fallen down the steps while running.

The child was taken to a hospital and a doctor confirmed to the investigators that the injuries were consistent with abuse, and thus, they were not accidental. The child’s body had 85 bruises and abrasions. He sustained severe head trauma that caused his brain to bleed and swell. The beating also caused a portion of his brain to die. He is now on life support in a Washington D.C. hospital.

Vanmeter is currently being held on $1 million bond. He was charged with first and second-degree assault, first-degree child abuse with severe physical injury, and second-degree child abuse.

If the boy dies as a result of Vanmeter’s abuse, the charges could increase.