Teen father arrested for biting, hitting daughter

Teen father arrested for biting, hitting daughter

Abiezer Neftali Zuniga, 18; Sandy Yesenia Aranda, 18


by Mike Gertzman


Posted on April 7, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 9 at 10:54 AM

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PHOENIX -- The teenage parents of a one-year-old girl have been arrested on child abuse charges after police were sent to their home by the child's maternal grandparents.

Abiezer Neftali Zuniga, 18, is accused of abusing the child on multiple occasions from February 2014 to April, according to court documents released on Monday. Sandy Yesenia Aranda, 18, is accused of not reporting the abuse to police.

On Saturday, after arriving at the family's home near 39th Avenue and Buckeye Road, police found the child with numerous bite marks and injuries.

The fire department was immediately called to treat the little girl.

Aranda told police Zuniga, her boyfriend, got mad at the child approximately two months ago and pulled a large amount of hair out of the child's head. She also said that Zuniga took the child into a bedroom two weeks ago and closed the door, at which time she could hear the victim screaming. Aranda said she later noticed the child had an injury on her head.

The mother also said that Zuniga had assaulted the child at least three different times and that she knew Zuniga had bitten the child on the face and legs on multiple occasions.

She said she did not call police because she did not want her daughter to be without a father and she was scared that she might go to jail for an incident where she hit her boyfriend with a glass bottle.

The baby's father admitted to police that he abused his daughter by biting and pulling her hair, according to court records.

Zuniga said he also got mad at the child because she was crying and slapped her on the mouth.

He also told police he was hiding the girl from family members to keep her injuries a secret.

Police said Zuniga laughed when he described the biting incidents to police. 

When police asked if the couple uses drugs, Aranda told police that she and her boyfriend smoke marijuana once a week.

Zuniga's bond was set at $75,000 and Aranda's bond was set at $5,000.


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