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A Racine man is accused of child abuse after he gave his 9-week old son vaping liquid, which had nicotine in it, because he was tired and his son was crying.

Dustin Appenzeller, 30, was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office with physical abuse of a child-intentionally causing bodily harm. If convicted of the charge, Appenzeller faces up to six years in prison and/or up to $10,000.

According to the criminal complaint, rescue personnel and police were called at 12:11 a.m. Feb. 1 for a report of a nine-week-old baby that was having a health emergency after being given a vaping liquid that had nicotine in it.

The baby’s mother told police that the baby was hungry and woke her up. She asked Appenzeller to get him a bottle. When he left the room, he returned without a bottle. She asked him again to get a bottle while she went to the bathroom. When she returned to the bedroom, she found Dustin standing over the baby giving him a dropper full of the vaping liquid.

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The woman screamed, “Oh my God! What did you do? What did you do?”

Appenzeller told her that he had “done it before” and “It’s fine.” He then apologized and told his wife that he was tired. The baby then started to have difficulty breathing and was foaming at the mouth. He appeared to have been having a “seizure.”

When officers asked why he gave the baby vaping liquid, he calmly and unconcerned replied: “I don’t know. He was crying. I was really tired,” the complaint reads.

The baby was taken to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin for treatment.

Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch set a cash bond of $5,000.  A preliminary hearing has been set for 9 a.m. Feb. 8.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.