Goodyear's engineering director and his wife were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of child abuse stemming from a potty-training "war" with their 4-year-old daughter, police said.
Raul Varela, 40, and Tricia Varela, 39, were arrested Tuesday and booked on one count of felony child abuse each.
About 12:30 a.m. Tuesday,Tricia Varela took her 4-year-old daughter to the emergency room at West Valley Hospital in Goodyear for abdominal pain, according to a Goodyear police report. Hospital staff discovered severe bruising on her legs, arms, upper and lower back, abdomen and head, as well as what appeared to be a broken arm.
Deemed to be in critical condition, the girl was taken to Maricopa Medical Center's Pediatric Unit about 5:45 a.m., the report states.
Further examinations revealed the girl had abdominal bruising on both sides of her body extending to her lower back. She also had two broken legs and a fracture to her upper right arm, the report shows. Doctors determined the bruising on the back of her knee, inside and outside of both thighs and back were consistent with blunt force. She had to be medically sedated due to the pain and her "deteriorating condition," according to the report.
Raul and Tricia Varela admitted they had caused the girl's injuries on Saturday during a "war" to get her to go to the bathroom, the report states. The Varelas said they forced her on the toilet by restraining her with her hands held behind her back, pushing on her stomach, back and legs, and pushing her head down between her legs.
Raul Varela told police he and his wife often force the girl on the toilet for "hours on end" because it's the only way they can get her to comply, according to the report. He said he was aware doing so causes visible injury and knew she was hurt Saturday but did not get her medical attention.