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article imageToddler had baby octopus in throat, mother's boyfriend charged

By Arthur Weinreb     Apr 9, 2016 in Crime
Wichita - A two-year-old Wichita, Kansas boy was found choking from a baby octopus in his throat. He also had bruises on his face and the toddler's mother's boyfriend was arrested and charged.
The boy's 21-year-old mother returned from work Tuesday night to find her boyfriend, Matthew Gallagher, 36, performing CPR on her young son who she had left in Gallagher's care. The toddler was not breathing and first responders rushed him to a hospital where he was initially listed in serious condition.
Matthew Gallagher  36
Matthew Gallagher, 36
Sedgwick County Jail
As well as injuries to the boy's face, doctors found a dead baby octopus lodged in his throat. The diameter of the octopus's head was about two inches.
Doctors at the hospital called police after they concluded Gallagher's explanation for how the toddler sustained the facial injuries and swallowed the octopus were not consistent with the evidence they had. Police went to the hospital, questioned Gallagher and then arrested him around 5 a.m. Wednesday and took into custody on suspicion of child abuse. He was later released from the Sedgwick County Jail.
The boy was revived and his condition has been upgraded from serious to good. To date, doctors say he shows no signs of being affected from the lack of oxygen to his brain while the octopus was stuck in his throat.
Neighbours were shocked the boy might have been abused. One neighbour said he gives swimming lessons to a bunch of kids and finds it shocking anybody could do that to a child.
Police released very few details about what happened other than to say the octopus was not a pet and was most likely obtained to be eaten as sushi.
The investigation is continuing and the Wichita police are waiting until the boy gets a little better so detectives can interview him. Whether Gallagher will be formally charged will be up to the Sedgwick County District Attorney.
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