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Man faces attempted murder charge after child, 7, is found ‘lying unconscious in the street’ in Desert Hot Springs

Desert Hot Springs Police investigators say a man tried to kill a 7-year-old child over the weekend.

The child, identified by loved ones as Gavin, was "found lying unconscious in the street" on Vista Del Valle just after 7:00 Saturday evening, police told News Channel 3.

The child was rushed to Desert Regional Medical Center with a "critical closed head injury." From there, he was airlifted to Loma Linda Medical Center.

Gavin receiving treatment in the hospital (Courtesy of Friends of the Family)

Meanwhile, Desert Hot Springs police officers worked to find out what happened. "Officers began searching the area for evidence and witnesses to help explain how the child was injured. During their investigation officers determined the child had been deliberately attacked and injured."

Investigators identified a "person of interest" as Daniel Poulsen, 32. He was located with assistance from Riverside Sheriff’s Department and
California Highway Patrol and arrested at 1:34 a.m. Sunday morning.

Deputy Chief Steven Shaw said Poulsen and the victim live in the same neighborhood, but do not appear to know each other.

"Everything is indicating this is an absolutely random attack," Shaw said.

Gavin (Courtesy of Friends of the Family)

Poulsen is now in jail and facing a charge of attempted murder. Jail records indicate the man's name as Birch Daniel Poulsen, Jr. Police say he also goes by the names of Danny Poulsen and Daniel Paulsen.

According to jail records, the suspect was arrested on Vista Del Valle, the same street where police say they found the unconscious child.

Poulsen has been arrested and charged on 14 separate occasions in Riverside County dating back to 2007. Allegations vary from burglary, battery, resisting arrest, indecent exposure, committing lewd acts in public and annoying and/or molesting a child under 18 years old

Poulsen was found mentally incompetent to stand trial at least 11 times over the years, court records show.

Cases where he did not stand trial include allegations from 2010 that he annoyed and/or molested a child under 18 years old and allegations from 2016 regarding a charge of indecent exposure.

Because all the cases were misdemeanors, Poulsen could have spent a maximum of one year in a mental facility per case, according to John Hall, a spokesman for the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.

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Detectives are looking to gather more information on this case. If you have any information, they ask you contact Det. Tooth at 760-329-2904 Ext: 352.

Friends of the family have started a GoFundMe raising money to help Gavin's mother.

His amazing, loving and kind momma, Wendy, just lost her husband to cancer a few months ago.  She is now raising her two children alone, on a school teacher’s salary.  Y’all, she is the kindest and best of us.  Definitely one of our better angels and Gavin did NOT deserve this.

- GoFundMe for Gavin

Click here to make a donation.

Kids and Crime / News / News Headlines / Top Stories

KESQ News Team

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