Woman admits to slamming 3-year-old foster child to floor, police say

Complaint says boy suffered trauma, abuse
Woman admits to slamming 3-year-old foster child to floor, police say
Erica Dorsch

A 31-year-old Madison woman admitted to police that she slammed a 3-year-old foster child to a floor, causing a serious head injury, according to a criminal complaint.

Erica Dorsch was arrested on suspicion of physical abuse of a child after the child was hospitalized Friday morning. Police were called at 9:07 a.m. Friday to the 700 block of Engelhart Drive on a report that a boy had suffered a serious head injury. He was taken to a hospital in serious condition.

According to the criminal complaint, Dorsch told police she was upset with the boy because the boy had said he had washed his face, but he still had food on his face and she accused him of lying. She said she told the boy to look in the mirror and gave him another chance to tell the truth, but he again said he had washed his face, making her angry.

Dorsch told police that as the boy was taking down his pants to use the toilet, she grabbed a book, hit him on the head and left the bathroom. She said the boy began to cry, and she yanked him off the toilet by his arms and pushed him to the floor as hard as she could numerous times. She said the boy yelled when his head hit the floor, his back arched, his eyes fluttered and he became unresponsive. She said he vomited and had stopped breathing.

“I don’t know what snapped in me,” she told police.

Dorsch originally only admitted to hitting the boy with the book and claimed he had fallen from a bunk bed, according to the complaint.

A medical exam showed the boy’s injuries were caused by trauma and abuse, police said. A doctor at the hospital told police she has treated children who fell from second-story windows with fewer injuries than the boy had. The boy is still listed in serious condition.

Dorsch made an initial appearance Tuesday in Dane County Court. She was released on a signature bond, prosecutors asked for and were granted bond conditions that allow her to only see her other children while supervised.

“We have the defendant being quoted by police saying ‘I don’t know what snapped in me,’ right before engaging in this behavior,” Dane County Assistant District Attorney William Brown said. “The purpose of non-monetary conditions and bail is to keep the public safe, the public includes these other children.”