Father arrested for feeding alcohol to infant

GRETNA, La. (AP) - Jefferson Parish sheriff's deputies have arrested 19-year-old Belle Chasse man for allegedly feeding his 2-month-old son enough alcohol to register a .289 percent blood alcohol content. Cesar Ruiz was booked Sunday with attempted first-degree murder.

In Louisiana, drivers are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .08 percent or more.

The infant, Lucas Ruiz, was initially admitted to the pediatric unit at Ochsner Hospital on Oct. 16 because of breathing difficulties.

Doctors diagnosed the child with an undisclosed illness, and he was scheduled to have surgery this week. While undergoing treatment Sunday morning, the child started having seizures and was moved to the pediatric intensive care unit, where his elevated blood alcohol level was discovered.

The child's mother, Erika Wigstrom, told detective Terri Danna that she had noticed that a bottle of Bacardi Silver Rum was missing from her freezer.

Ruiz initially denied knowledge of the missing bottle, but he later confessed taking one of his son's empty feeding tubes from the hospital, pouring some of the rum into it and taking it back to the hospital, sheriff's officer spokesman Col. John Fortunato said.

When Wigstrom was out of the room Saturday night, Ruiz said, he poured the alcohol directly into his son's feeding tube. Ruiz told authorities he acted to relieve his son's suffering, and did not mean to kill him, Fortunato said. He has no prior criminal record.

The infant's condition is unknown.

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