Moms

Mother of injured Mansfield toddler arrested

MANSFIELD — The mother of a 2-year-old Mansfield girl who arrived at an Arlington hospital unconscious earlier this month has been arrested.

Ryka Hopper is is in the Mansfield Jail where she faces a charge of injury to a child by omission. Her bond had been set at $100,000.

Hopper's live-in boyfriend, Adam Carroll Palmer, 27, was arrested earlier this month. He faces two counts of causing serious bodily injury to a child and an aggravated-assault charge.

His bond was set at $450,000.

Hopper and her two daughters, ages 5 and 2, arrived at an Arlington hospital on July 12 with bruises and other injuries to their bodies, according to an arrest affidavit released Wednesday.

The 2-year-old was unconscious and had injuries to the brain, including blood and contusions. She was later taken by air ambulance to Medical City Hospital in Dallas, where she remains in a coma, said Thad Penkala, a Mansfield police spokesman.

A doctor at the hospital said he believed the injuries had been sustained over numerous days or weeks, according to the affidavit.

Hopper had a broken arm and the 5-year-old had bruises on her face. Both were released that same day, according to the affidavit.

During an interview with Mansfield police several days later, Hopper told police that during the first week of June, she was inside the home when Palmer and the 2-year-old went outside.

At some point, she heard a loud noise, then the toddler's crying. The 2-year-old had been shot in the foot with a BB gun, according to the affidavit. It is unclear how or why the 2-year-old was shot.

Hopper said she was then forced to hold the girl down while Palmer removed two gold BBs from her foot with a knife, according to the affidavit.

Asked what the 2-year-old did while the BB was being dug out, she said the girl "cried and screamed."

Two weeks later, Hopper said she had arrived home and found the 2-year-old unconscious on the floor, according to the affidavit.

She told police that Palmer told her that the toddler had a seizure. She then stated that the child remained on the floor for more than 16 hours before she finally regained consciousness and started crying.

Because the crying awakened Palmer, he then picked the 2-year-old up "like a rag doll and threw her to the floor and told her to shut up," Hopper told police.

The toddler whimpered on the floor until she went to sleep, according to the affidavit. After the incident, the girl could not walk or use her right hand and had trouble speaking, the affidavit says.

Hopper was arrested Tuesday for her role in the beatings.

According to court records, Palmer was given deferred adjudication on an injury-to-a-child case that occurred in 2003, but that probation was revoked in 2008 and he was sentenced to prison.

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