A man said he was mimicking a professional wrestling move when he inadvertently slammed his girlfriend’s toddler to the floor, causing head injuries that killed the boy, police said.
Brandon Hoffman, 20, was charged Wednesday with involuntary manslaughter, endangering the welfare of a child, aggravated assault and other offenses in the death of 18-month-old Bryson Shoemaker.
Police said Hoffman was performing a wrestling move by The Undertaker known as “The Last Ride” at his Jersey Shore apartment Tuesday and had intended for Bryson to land on a bed. In the move, depicted in many online videos, the wrestler gets the opponent on his shoulders in a sort of reverse piggyback, then throws him to the ground.
He had earlier performed another wrestling move that also involved dropping Bryson onto the bed, authorities said.
Hoffman told investigators he tried performing CPR and took Bryson to the hospital instead of calling 911 because he feared getting in trouble. Hospital staff told police the child may have had a broken neck and collapsed lung.