WWE has officially issued a statement in response to a recent news story about a 2-year-old girl who died from head injuries suffered after her mother’s boyfriend allegedly performed several wrestling moves on her, including the WWE “Batista Bomb” move.
According to police, Richard Gamache Jr., 24, of House Springs, Missouri, admitted that he inflicted bruises and injuries to 2-year-old Addie Cook’s face while “playing too rough” with her. The little girl sustained serious injuries to the face and head and died on Friday, May 19, at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Missouri, WKBN reported.
Addie was experiencing a seizure and showing signs of physical trauma when police officers and EMS personnel arrived at her home in Jefferson County, Missouri, on Tuesday, May 16, according to KTVI (Fox2Now).
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic death and hope that the guilty parties are brought to justice,” WWE said in a statement released on Friday, May 26, according to PWMania.
“There is no excuse or justification for the brutal and ultimately fatal beating of a 2-year-old child by a grown man. This is a clear case of criminal intent and a lack of parental supervision.”
— м¡ѕнєℓℓє (@THATrealduprai) May 27, 2017
Police arrested Gamache and charged him with abuse and neglect of a child. Addie’s mother, 19-year-old Cheyenne Cook, was also arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Police investigators said Cook was aware of the ongoing abuse of her daughter by her boyfriend, but she colluded with him to cover it up. She was reportedly afraid to confront him about it because she did not want to endanger their relationship. She was also afraid of losing custody of the child due to the bruises, injuries, and other visible signs of sustained physical abuse that the child had suffered.
However, Gamache reportedly denied performing the “Batista Bomb” move on Addie. He said the little girl might have suffered face and head injuries after he performed another type of wrestling move on her that involved hitting her head against the concrete wall next to her bed.
— JustBleedMMA (@JustBleedMMA) May 26, 2017
KTVI reported that Addie’s injuries were not the result of one isolated incident. The little girl had suffered sustained physical abuse and torture meted out by Gamache.
Gamache, according to investigators, abused the child multiple times over a period of time, and her mother did not intervene or seek medical help when she saw that the child was bruised and injured.
However, on the day that Gamache performed the wrestling moves that caused Addie’s fatal head injuries, her mother was not there. She discovered what had happened through photos and text messages that Gamache sent to her.
Police said they were able to recover the photographs that Gamache sent to Cook on May 13. The photos showed bruises and injuries on Addie’s face and head. They also recovered the text messages he sent.
Gamache admitted in the text messages that he caused Addie’s face and head bruises while “playing too rough” with her. He later admitted to police investigators who were called after the toddler suffered seizures on May 16, that he had performed dangerous WWE wrestling moves on the girl.
“It is pretty obvious, pretty serious. There were photographs taken along with apologies and there was talk about how we can cover up the bruising.”
WWE News: US couple charged with toddler's death after 'Batista Bomb' https://t.co/N00dKdeNYW
— Dakota Fuqua (@DakotaFuqua97) May 24, 2017
Sheriff Dave Marshak told KTVI that the little girl was “essentially tortured.”
“They removed part of her skull to relieve pressure off of her. I didn’t get to see her until four in the morning and it looked like she was in a bar fight from head to toe,” said Jim Boyce, Addie’s step-grandfather.
Boyce revealed that Addie and her mother had lived with him and his wife before they moved in with Gamache and his parents six days before Addie died.
Click here to support Addie's Memorial Fund organized by Cheyenne Cook https://t.co/61p2ZK0xZD
— jennyfer (@MommaBearSTL) May 24, 2017
“It’s terrible. I just couldn’t understand how somebody could do that to a 30-pound baby. I mean, it looked like she got run over, that’s how bad she looked,” Boyce said, according to WKBN.
The “Batista Bomb” is a move popularized by former pro-wrestler and actor Dave Bautista in which the wrestler flips the opponent on the shoulders and slams them on the floor.
KTVI reports that the extended family has announced that Addie’s organs will be donated. The family has also launched a GoFundMe page to cover the girl’s funeral costs.
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