Police: Frustration Over Potty Training Led To Glenpool Toddler's Death

Thursday, May 5th 2011, 10:31 am
By: News On 6

NewsOn6.com & Lacie Lowry, News On 6

GLENPOOL, Oklahoma -- Two people have been arrested in the death of a 22-month-old girl early Wednesday morning.

David Bridgeman, 28, is being held in the Tulsa County jail of first-degree murder and a complaint of injury to a minor child in the death of 22-month-old Adrianna Hernandez.

Bridgeman's girlfriend, 21-year-old Paula Najar, is being held on a complaint of child neglect.

Police say the violence was the result of frustration over potty-training.

"As a father and a grandparent, it's hard to fathom something like this. It's just such a tragedy, Glenpool Police Chief Dennis Waller said.

Bridgeman and Najar were arrested by Glenpool Police on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at a home in the 700 block of East 147th Street following an investigation.

According to a police report, Glenpool Police were called to the home about a child not breathing early Wednesday morning.  Officers arrived and performed CPR on Adrianna, but it was too late.

David Bridgeman and his 21-year-old live-in girlfriend, Paula Najar, went in for police questioning.

"He was extremely nervous," Chief Waller said. "You could tell something was bothering him."

According to police, Bridgeman told officers Najar was trying to potty train the Adrianna about 9 p.m. Tuesday night, but the girl would not follow instructions.  Bridgeman told police he  started working with Adrianna, then left her alone on the training toilet and returned to the living room. 

He told police that when he went to check on her, she had gotten into the shower with her clothes on which angered him.  He told detectives he took her into her room and removed her wet clothes, but when she wouldn't mind he became very angry so he went into the kitchen and told Najar that she needed to take care of the girl.

Bridgeman told officers Najar went into the bedroom and spanked the girl, and that he criticized Najar for not leaving the room after disciplining her.  Najar got angry with him and left the room.  He told police he then left the room and when he returned Adrianna was again not minding him and he became very angry.

The portion of the police report which presumably details what happened next has been redacted.

Bridgeman told officers Adrianna went to bed at about 9:30 p.m. and that he checked on her several times during the night and found her unresponsive at about 5:30 Wednesday morning.

Najar told police Bridgeman was alone with Adrianna Tuesday night when Bridgeman's son came into the living room and told Najar "daddy" was hurting Adrianna and she was "dead." 

Najar told police she went into the bedroom and saw Adrianna standing up so she thought everything was ok.

She told police she walked into the bedroom Wednesday morning and saw Bridgeman looking at the girl who was unresponsive.  She said she then called 911.

Police say based on the proximity of the living room to the bedroom, Najar must have known Bridgeman was injuring Adrianna and chose not to protect the girl. 

Bridgeman told police Adrianna was his brother's daughter.

Three other children, including Adrianna's older brother, were in the home at the time of the incident.  They were taken into DHS protective custody.

"Definitely a shock to the neighborhood I would say," Jeremy Wynn, a neighbor, said.  "Tremendous shock, I couldn't believe it. "

The state medical examiner's office says all details about the manner of the girl's death are still pending.