MANCHESTER, NH – A Nashua man was charged with reckless endangerment Monday after police say he swung his toddler over a railing at Arms Park and took her photograph as she dangled about 20-feet above the river.
Matthew Jordan, 32, of Nashua, was arrested just before 4 p.m. on Dec. 7, after a 911 call came in from someone who reported seeing a man and a young child in a dangerous situation at Arms Park, near Cotton restaurant, located at 75 Arms Street.
Manchester Police responded to Arms Park at 3:40 p.m. in response to the caller, who had reported seeing a man and child on the “wrong side” of the rail separating Arms Park from the Merrimack River.
Officer Ryan Boyton arrived on scene and initially observed the man, later identified as Jordan, and his 21-month-old daughter, near the river, but not on the opposite side of the rail as the caller reported. Officer Boyton exited his police car when he observed Jordan pick-up the young girl and swing her over the safety rail toward the river. Jordan allegedly held on to the young girl with one hand as he lifted her over the rail.
Officer Ryan says he further observed Jordan release his grip while he proceeded to photograph the toddler as she stood on the opposite side of the safety rail, approximately 20 feet above the swift-moving river. The little girl was holding on to the rail without assistance from her father. The officer was extremely concerned for the toddler’s safety and yelled for Jordan to take hold of the child and pull her over the railing on the proper side.
Officer Boyton spoke with Jordan and voiced his concern regarding the events he had witnessed. He was able to contact the toddler’s mother and the child was removed from the scene as Jordan was transported to police headquarters where he was charged with 2 counts of reckless conduct for conduct which placed another in danger of serious bodily injury.
Jordan was charged for swinging the girl over the rail and releasing his grip while he took a photograph. Bail was initially set at $20,000 cash/surety, but was reduced during his arraignment Tuesday, according to WMUR.
Jordan told the court the situation was a “misunderstanding.”
“That’s my princess, my heart, my only child, whatever,” Jordan said in court. “I love her with all my heart.”
WMUR also reports that prosecutors asked for bail to be set at $10,000 cash-only.
Police prosecutor Lt. Steve Reardon told the court that Jordan has “a 24-page criminal history” which includes “all make and manner of offenses.”
Jordan told the judge his daughter needed him for Christmas and requested bail be reduced. The judge set bail at $7,500. A trial date is scheduled for Jan. 25, 2016.
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