Police in Hirataka City, Osaka Prefecture, have rearrested a 24-year-old man on suspicion of assaulting his then two-year-old daughter last December.
According to police, Rintaro Hirai, a self-employed worker, grabbed his youngest daughter by the ankles and hung her upside down at their apartment on Dec 26, Kyodo News reported. He then swung the child from left to right and smashed her head into a table, causing serious injuries requiring a month of recovery.
Police said Hirai has admitted to the allegations and quoted him as saying, “She was crying and wouldn’t eat her dinner, so I swung her around as punishment but never intended to hit her head against a table.”
Hirai lives in a four-person household with his 20-year-old common-law wife and his two daughters, aged three and five. Hirai was first arrested in August after his partner reported him to the police for shooting his youngest daughter in the stomach with an air gun. During the investigation, it was discovered that she had a swollen face when she attended preschool last December.
According to Hirakata City and the Osaka Prefectural Chuo Child Welfare Consultation Center, staff at the preschool contacted them regarding her swollen face. Hirai told them that she was injured after being hit by the front door.
However, police received additional reports of the child crying, which prompted child consultation center officials to visit Hirai’s household four times until July this year.
Police are questioning Hirai, who was rearrested on Monday, and the child’s mother about whether he repeatedly abused his daughters who were both taken into protective custody after the air gun incident.© Japan Today