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A 4-year-old boy allegedly had salt poured down his throat and was tortured on numerous occasions by his mother’s live-in boyfriend Rolando Tomas Mendez who is now facing charges of injury to a child after a year-long investigation in Humble, Texas reports KHOU.

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On Sept. 28, 2011, the child, Angel Maldonado (pictured), was taken to a hospital after becoming ill. The boy then had to be airlifted to a children’s hospital and was at death’s door, according to attending physicians.

Maldonado’s mother, who has not been identified, and Mendez were questioned by Humble police. Although Mendez is not the boy’s biological father, he does have a daughter with his mother. He told police that he had been babysitting both children while their mother reported to a new job.

The 21-year-old man went on to explain to police that he noticed Maldonado had vomited in two rooms of the house after being fed.

When the mom arrive home, she noticed that her son looked tipsy. He was reportedly walking sideways and his bottom lip had a blue hue. When the mom questioned Mendez, he lied and told her that the child had eaten spaghetti and that he had added a little salt to it.

After medical personnel examined the boy, they discovered that Maldonado had elevated sodium levels which was either caused by excessive amounts of salt to the point of being poisoned or he had been deprived of water. Further testing determined that there were no underlying causes for the excessive salt levels in the child’s bloodstream.

When the boy returned home, he exhibited an unexplainable fear of salt shakers, saying things like “no touch, that’s bad” and crying hysterically whenever he’d see them. Family members eventually put the puzzle together about Maldonado’s fear of salt and summoned police.

The child told police that Mendez was mean and made him eat salt whenever he was angry. The small child reportedly demonstrated to investigators how Mendez would tilt his head back and pour the salt down his throat. He also told detectives that Mendez would give him baths that were too hot, according to KHOU.

Maldonado’s paternal grandmother was questioned by police and she told them that the boy mentioned how Mendez would lock him in the closet and force him to watch frightening “Chucky” movies.

Mendez, who denied the child’s allegations and also refused to take a polygraph, is in jail and his bond has been set at $50,000.

Meanwhile, Angel, who is safe and doing well was given to his biological father at a custody hearing last December.

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