A man faces an attempted murder charge after a 7-year-old boy was attacked and seriously injured in Desert Hot Springs over the weekend, authorities said.
Officers were dispatched to the 9600 block of Vista Del Valle around 7:10 p.m. Saturday after the child was found unconscious in the street, according to a Desert Hot Springs Police Department news release.
He had suffered a critical head injury and was airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center.
After speaking with witnesses and gathering evidence, officers determined the boy “had been deliberately attacked and injured,” the release stated.
They identified 32-year-old Daniel Poulsen as the suspect and arrested him early the next day, police said.
He was booked on suspicion of attempted murder and is being held on $1 million bail, according to Riverside County inmate records.
Poulsen lives in the same neighborhood as the boy, but did not appear to know him, Deputy Chief Steven Shaw told Palm Springs television station KESQ.
“Everything is indicating this is an absolutely random attack,” he said to the station.
The victim, identified only as Gavin, had to undergo surgery and is “fighting for his life,” according to a GoFundMe account.
“He was intubated and some of his very fractured skull removed to allow his brain to swell without further injury,” the page stated.
A breathing tube was removed Monday. While Gavin’s condition appears to be slowly improving, he remains hospitalized.
The GoFundMe seeks to raise money for costs related to this child’s medical care and recovery. His mother, a teacher, recently lost her husband to cancer and is raising two children by herself, according to the fundraiser’s organizer.
“Y’all, she is the kindest and best of us. Definitely one of our better angels and Gavin did NOT deserve this,” wrote Mandy Franklin, who identified herself as a family friend. “I know the world is haywire right now. I know the future is uncertain. But this is where we need to shine and lift up those of us in need.”
Authorities are continuing to investigate the incident, and anyone with information is asked to call
Detective Tooth at 760-329-2904, ext. 352.