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Father arrested after child critically injured along Cherry Creek trail

The Denver Fire Department said at the time that a child had fallen through thin ice, and their father had tried to pull them from the water.

DENVER — A father is facing attempted murder charges after his five-year-old son was critically injured in an incident along the Cherry Creek Trail in southeast Denver last week, according to the Denver Police Department. 

Michael Ninomiya, 42, was arrested Wednesday.

Police said around 4:15 p.m. Jan. 12, Ninomiya called 911 to report an incident along the Cherry Creek Trail. The details of that call were redacted in an arrest affidavit released Wednesday.

Credit: Denver Police Department
Michael Ninomiya

Firefighters found Ninomiya and his son in a fenced-off drainage culvert along the High Line Canal near Boston Street and Cornell Avenue, according to the affidavit. The boy was taken to the hospital in critical condition, and Ninomiya was taken to the hospital to be treated for a cut to his forehead.

The Denver Fire Department told 9NEWS at the time that a child had fallen through thin ice, and their father had attempted to pull them from the water. The child was unresponsive when first pulled from the water, firefighters said. 

RELATED: Father pulls 5-year-old from water after child falls through thin ice near Cherry Creek trail

The boy remains in critical condition as of Tuesday, according to the affidavit. Police said he suffered a life-threatening head injury. 

Numerous details from the investigation were redacted in the affidavit released Wednesday. 

Ninomiya made his first court appearance Thursday. 

"As the court I'm sure is well aware from reading the affidavit for the arrest warrant, the defendant has given essentially a full confession to intentionally trying to kill the victim in this case," prosecutor Danielle Robinson said during that court appearance. 

In investigating the incident, officers interviewed both Ninomiya and the boy's mother, according to the affidavit. The mother told police she had been with Ninomiya for nine years, and married to him for eight. She said she had no concerns when Ninomiya and the boy left for a hike. She told police she would never have let Ninomiya leave with the child if she had thought he would hurt him, according to the affidavit.

Ninomiya is facing charges of attempted murder, attempted murder of a victim under 12, attempt to commit child abuse knowingly/recklessly causing death, and attempt to commit child abuse knowing/recklessly causing serious bodily injury. He is being held on $1 million bond. 

RELATED: 1 dead after shooting in southwest Denver

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