LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Video evidence captured by home security cameras showed a babysitter kicking a 5-year-old boy in the head, according to an arrest report.
Laurren J. Courtney, 22, faces a first degree murder charge and eight counts related to child abuse.
The boy, Ryan James Peralto, died the day after he suffered a fractured skull, bleeding in the brain, and damage to his spleen, liver, pancreas and intestines, according to police. The boy was transported to UMC Trauma but did not survive.
Kaiea Peralto, the boy’s father, had placed cameras in the house after his 7-year-old daughter told her Courtney was hurting Ryan. Courtney was a regular babysitter with the family.
Courtney told police she knew about the cameras. “I know, he has three,” she said.
In interviews with police detailed in a Metro arrest report, Courtney tried to implicate the father in the boy’s injuries, claiming Ryan had a bruise on his forehead when she arrived to babysit in the morning.
But a review of the video told police a different story. The video has not been released.
Officers were able to view video surveillance on an app from Kaiea’s phone. Officers observed (Courtney) pulling Ryan by one arm through the doorway of the bathroom. Lauren states “I know you are faking it.” (Courtney) is observed kicking Ryan in the face with her foot, punching his face, and slap his chest. (Courtney) then takes off Ryan’s underwear and drags him into the shower.Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department arrest report.
She is identified in the arrest document as Lauren Jeanette Courtney, but jail records spell her name Laurren J. Courtney.
She is scheduled to appear in court on May 18 at 9 a.m.
The babysitter, apparently angry because the boy had urinated on himself, told police she had shoved Ryan — probably “harder” than she should have — causing him to strike his head on the floor, according to statements she made to police.
Saying that she didn’t remember how the boy’s injuries might have occurred, she told police on several occasions that the boy acted “noodley.”
“She said she may have been ‘mad’ and ‘blacked out’ because she has no recollection of stepping on Ryan,” according to the arrest report. “Lauren then stated she has ‘mental issues’ or ‘mental health issues.’ “
Descriptions of video evidence indicate Courtney then severely beat Ryan over a two-minute period.
She dragged the boy by his left hand into the bedroom towards the bathroom. The boy is not moving as she says “Get up … Ryan, I can see you looking at me.”
According to the report, “She squats down to him and kicks his head and his head moves away from his body. Ryan has no reaction to this and does not even raise his hands and his body is limp.”
Over the next minutes, she hits him several times, screams at him and lets him fall back to hit his head again. She berates him for ignoring her anytime he shows a sign that he is trying to defend himself.
By the end of the officers’ description of the video, the boy can be heard crying and moaning in pain after she turns on the shower and leaves the bathroom.
While Kaiea Peralto was at work, he checked the surveillance cameras using his cellphone and saw that his son was lying motionless on the couch while Courtney was “cleaning fluids off the floor.” He called his wife to see if the babysitter had called her. According to the police report, he then received a call from Courtney saying that Ryan was sick, and that he had vomited blood. He left work, according to an interview with police.
When he arrived home, his wife was also at the house with the babysitter, who then left as he arrived.
Courtney described herself as a self-employed “entertainer” who babysits on the side. She earned $300 a week babysitting five days a week for the Peralto family in the 5100 block of South Jones Boulevard, and she had help from a boyfriend. They had recently dropped back to three days a week when the children went back to the classroom.
She also told police she currently smokes “weed” but has experimented with other drugs in the past.