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3-year-old in critical condition after report of assault; adult arrested


A 3-year-old is hospitalized in critical condition with a traumatic head injury after being hit by an adult, according to authorities.

Pine County deputies and first responders arrived at the scene in Sandstone and found the child unresponsive around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to a news release. The child's mother said her boyfriend had hit the child, the release says.

The child was taken to a hospital in Sandstone before being airlifted to a Twin Cities hospital, reportedly in critical condition with head trauma, the release says.

After a daylong search, deputies located the suspect in a wooded area northwest of Pine City around 5 p.m. He was described in the release as "uncooperative," but was eventually taken into custody and transported to the hospital with non-life threatening, self-inflicted knife wounds to his arms.

The suspect, a 31-year-old from Sandstone, was then taken to Pine County jail. No charges have been filed as of Wednesday afternoon.

State child protection services

Lawmakers and officials have been looking at reforms for the state's child protection system, after a Star Tribune investigation into the tragic case of Eric Dean. The 4-year-old died at the hands of his stepmother after concerns over maltreatment had been reported by caregivers on 15 occasions.

Reporting of child abuse or neglect is handled by county or tribal authorities – a list with phone numbers can be found here.

Earlier this month, the Legislative Task Force on Child Protection met to discuss possible fixes and hear public comments on the statewide child protection services, operated by the Department of Human Services.

The group of eight lawmakers will look at what reforms have been passed up to this point, and how the state’s child protection services can be improved. They’ll issue a final report early next year.

This legislative task force is a direct result of a different task force, one set up by Gov. Mark Dayton last year.

That group, after months of study, proposed 93 changes to child protection policies, recommending the state spend more on protection, hire more social workers and improve their training.

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