A West St. Paul man forced two children to drink shots of alcohol with him and physically abused his other two kids, according to charges filed Tuesday by the Dakota County attorney’s office.
Oscar Oswaldo Cruz, 28, is charged with third-degree assault, felony malicious punishment of a child and five additional misdemeanor punishment, endangerment and neglect crimes.
According to charges: Cruz has two children, ages 1 and 4, with his wife, and she also has two children, ages 6 and 9, from a previous relationship. She said she came home from work early after Cruz called her and said the 6-year-old girl had gotten into his alcohol and become sick.
The girl’s 9-year-old brother later told their mother that Cruz made them drink shots of alcohol with him. Earlier that day, the boy told his mother, Cruz whipped the girl with a vacuum cord when she came home with her shoes on the wrong feet. She also had bite marks on her arm.
Cruz’s wife told police she heard Cruz yelling at their 4-year-old, followed by a thud. When she next saw the child, he had blood dripping down his face and bite and scratch marks all over his body. During a police interview, an officer noticed that the 1-year-old boy had a chipped tooth and broken blood vessels in his left eye.