by: Richard Thompson Updated:TUMWATER, Wash. —
Heidi Barrientes can't understand how her Tumwater neighbor Demarcus Clark could have hit a 2-year-old boy because he was angry over a dirty diaper.
"It's inexcusable. There's no reason to do that," said Barrientes.
Barrientes saw the injuries to the little boy when his mother came to her house seeking advice after the boy was assaulted.
"It was shocking," Barrientes told KIRO 7. "His left eye was all swollen shut and it was basically swollen shut for the most part."
Barrientes said she convinced the boy's mother to call police and get him medical attention.
"Anybody that strikes a child and does that kind of damage, there's a difference between spanking and beating and that's a beating," she said.
Thurston County prosecutors convinced a judge to find probable cause fo second-degree assault against Clark. They told KIRO 7 the victim in the case was vulnerable and defenseless.
A few homes away from where the assault happened, KIRO 7 found Hollie Hartman playing with her own two-year-old son Nathan. Hartman can't imagine hitting a 2-year-old for any reason, especially for a dirty diaper.
"That's heartbreaking that someone would hit their kid for not knowing how to use the bathroom yet," she said.