Valpo area man pretended he would throw child in fire
By Erin Guerra Post-Tribune correspondent April 29, 2013 12:25PM
Mathew Dominion. | Provided Photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 29, 2013 7:49PM
VALPARAISO — A fun Saturday for children running about and playing together in a neighborhood just south of Flint Lake and north of Valparaiso ended violently. One apparently intoxicated neighbor went too far roughhousing with them when he picked up a 6-year-old boy and pretended he was going to drop him into a backyard fire.
A neighbor of suspect Mathew Dominion, 40, told police he had just gone over to introduce himself at about 9:30 p.m. as his children, ages 11 and 12, and the 6-year-old Valparaiso boy, who was visiting them with his mother, were playing in Dominion’s yard, in the 4300 block of Ostedt Drive. Soon after, Dominion appeared agitated with the younger boy, the neighbor said, and he picked him up by the neck and pants and started walking toward the fire. When the neighbor told Dominion to stop being so rough, he allegedly set the boy down and shoved him to the ground, then punched the 35-year-old man in the face.
When police arrived, Dominion had gone inside and the 6-year-old and several other children told police they had believed he was going to throw the boy into the fire.
Dominion’s girlfriend let officers go into their home, where they found him asleep in a bedroom that smelled overwhelmingly of alcohol, police said. Dominion, who has a history of battery arrests, repeatedly yelled at the officers to get out of his house and said nothing had happened.
As numerous neighbors gathered and watched, he reportedly swore and yelled as officers struggled to put him into the back of a squad car. Once inside, he managed to kick the officer driving twice in the back of the head.
The officer used a taser on him while waiting for a van to transport Dominion in a safer manner, considering his combativeness. By the time they arrived at Porter Regional Hospital, to medically clear Dominion for the jail, he had sustained injuries to his face and ankle.
Dominion was arrested for felony battery to a juvenile, felony battery to a law enforcement officer, misdemeanor battery for the punch to his neighbor, and resisting law enforcement and disorderly conduct, also misdemeanors. His girlfriend, Lindsey Littlefield, also was arrested for disorderly conduct.
The 6-year-old was treated at Porter Regional Hospital for whiplash, and he also had a bruise to his forehead, his mother told police the next day.