Man accused of torturing 4-year-old boy

Tomas Mendez charged with injury to a child

Published On: Aug 30 2012 05:40:12 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 30 2012 11:09:57 PM CDT
HUMBLE, Texas -

A man has been accused of torturing his girlfriend's 4-year-old son.

Rolando Mendez, 21, has been charged with injury to a child.

Humble police said Mendez was the live-in boyfriend of the boy's mother. According to court documents, the mother left her son at home with Mendez and his 1-year-old daughter so she could go to work. When she got back, investigators said she noticed her son walking sideways and appeared to have trouble keeping his balance.

Officials said the boy was also throwing up and his bottom lip was blue and hanging down.

The boy was rushed to the hospital. According to court records, the boy had an elevated level of sodium in his body and the condition could have been life-threatening if it hadn't been treated.

Investigators said the boy told them that Mendez poured the salt down his mouth. The boy also told investigators that Mendez would put him into hot baths that hurt, officials said.

According to court records, the boy said Mendez would at times lock him in a dark closet and scare him with a scary movie.

Mendez has been charged with injury to a child.