A 42-year-old man has been charged with attempted first-degree murder after he and his son were rescued out of the icy water on the Cherry Creek Trail last week. The 5-year-old boy is in critical condition and may not survive, the district attorney said Thursday.

Michael Ninomiya was arrested Wednesday for the attempted murder of his son.

During the first court appearance of Ninomiya, the district attorney said the child is not expected to survive following the Jan. 12 incident, KDVR reported. An arrest affidavit revealed that Ninomiya called 911 on the day of the incident to ask for help. Responders initially had a hard time locating the man and his son but they were later found on a drainage culvert along High Line Canal at the Cherry Creek Trail in Denver, Colorado.

Two days after the rescue, the Denver Police Department (DPD) sought information on how the child suffered life-threatening injuries during what initially appeared to be an accident.

Charging documents showed that Ninomiya confessed to police officers that he did try to kill his son, reportedly detailing that after pulling the child into the water, he physically attacked him to a point where he wasn’t sure if the boy was still breathing, New York Post reported. After the assault, Ninomiya reportedly told investigators that he hurt himself “to make it look like an accident.”

In the court, Ninomiya’s attorney said his client had severe mental health problems but did not accept treatment for his issues in the past, KMGH-TV reported. The attorney added that Ninomiya received treatment at the hospital after the rescue and that he feels guilty for the incident. Court records showed that Ninomiya was diagnosed with schizophrenia in his 20s.

The child’s mother told police that had she known Ninomiya would hurt the boy, she would not have allowed her son to leave with Ninomiya.

He has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder of a victim under 12, and attempted child abuse that would knowingly or recklessly cause death.

The judge set Ninomiya’s bond at $1 million. If the man posts bond, then he will be required to take medication while under in-home detention.

Colorado River
The Animas River in Colorado and New Mexico has been turned yellow in spots after a shuttered gold mine leaked sludge Wednesday. Above is an aerial view of the Colorado River. Getty/Brent Stirton