Charges: West St. Paul dad bit kids, made them take shots of alcohol


Days after a West St. Paul mom reported that her husband had forced two of their children to take shots of alcohol with him while she was at work, the man is behind bars and facing serious child abuse charges in Dakota County.

Oscar Oswaldo Cruz, 27, is accused not only of making a 6-year-old and a 9-year-old drink booze, but also of whipping one of them with a vacuum cord, biting his 4-year-old child, and a host of other abuses, according to the criminal complaint.

The couple has four children; the two forced to take shots are from the mother's previous relationship.

The document indicates Cruz's wife arrived home on the evening of May 29 to find the two intoxicated kids, the younger of them on a couch and covered with vomit. She told police that Cruz initially tried to blame the children for getting into his alcohol, but one of them eventually admitted that Cruz had made them drink.

According to the complaint, the youngest child, a 1-year-old, did not escape abuse, as officers noticed he had a chipped tooth and a bloodshot left eye – later found to be "large subconjunctival hemorrhage."

Between them, the four children appear to have suffered a range of abuse, with medical personnel discovering several bruises and lacerations.

The seven charges Cruz is facing include multiple counts of malicious punishment, child endangerment and felony third-degree assault.

He's currently being held on $150,000 bail, according to the Dakota County website.

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