Dustin Appenzeller

‘I’ve done it before:’ Dad allegedly drops vaping liquid into newborn son’s mouth to get him to stop crying

A Racine, Wisconsin, father is facing criminal charges for allegedly pouring vaping liquid into his 9-week-old son’s mouth to get him to stop crying.

WITI reported that police were called to the home early Thursday following reports that an infant boy was suffering a medical emergency after his father, Dustin Appenzeller, 30, gave him vaping liquid used in e-cigarettes. The infant was reportedly foaming at the mouth and having a seizure when he was rushed to the emergency room.

Appenzeller was with his son in the bedroom when police arrived, according to the station.

The complaint, obtained by The Journal Times, provided additional insight into the alleged incident. A witness reportedly asked Appenzeller to get a bottle after the child woke the witness up and requested one. After he returning without a bottle, the witness allegedly repeated the request, but he went to the bathroom instead.

The witness recalled returning to the room and catching Appenzeller feeding the 9-week-old baby vaping fluid with a dropper. He reportedly replied, “I’ve done it before. It’s fine,” when he was asked what he was doing, according to the complaint.

When pressed by investigators, Appenzeller reportedly explained that he gave his son a “couple drops” of the fluid because he was tired and his son was crying. Investigators wrote that the father appeared “calm and unconcerned” during the interview, according to WITI.

Appenzeller was charged with physical abuse of a child, intentionally causing bodily harm. His bond was set at $5,000. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for February 8.

 

[Featured Image: Dustin Appenzeller/Police handout]