LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KFOX14) — A newly released court document revealed disturbing information about a Las Cruces man who was arrested and accused of harming his girlfriend's son last year. Officers arrested 37-year-old Dominic Frederick Salas on July 22. Police were assigned to investigate Salas and living conditions at the children's home after a referral was made through New Mexico, Youth and Families Department.
An 11-year-old boy, the son of Rose M. Callahan who was Salas’ girlfriend, told police he was excessively disciplined by Salas who also threatened to kill him. The child also reportedly told an investigator that Salas disciplined his sister with a belt in the past. The court document revealed that in one incident Salas is accused of grabbing the boy's neck and lifting him off the floor, causing the boy to have trouble breathing.
When the boy was asked why this happened, he stated he did not know but said that Salad tends to "take it out on everybody when he's [mad]e a mom." In another instance, Salas is accused of holding the boy on the floor and having the child's sister hold a towel over the boy's face while Salas reportedly poured water over the boy's mouth and nose, which is a torture tactic commonly known as waterboarding.
The court document stated that Salas who was left to care for the children said "now we're gonna have some fun" when Callahan left the home.
Salas reportedly then brought a speaker into the bathroom where he then began pouring water over the boy's covered face. The young boy reportedly stated that he had "difficulty breathing for a minute after the incident until he was able to cough up water." The two children were then allegedly ordered by Salas to pick up the mess.
Following the incident, the boy's sister ran away from home and is currently staying with relatives, court documents stated. While speaking to an investigator the young boy also said that he witnessed physical altercations between his mother and Salas. The court document also revealed that the boy ran away from home at least once because he felt unsafe.
Salas is charged with two felony counts of intentional child abuse. Salas was released on his own recognizance on Friday. Las Cruces police detectives are continuing their investigation and additional charges for Callahan and Salas are possible.