Toddler beating ends when bat-wielding man intervenes

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Friday, July 1, 2016

VANCOUVER, Washington -- A 2-year-old girl is in critical condition and fighting for her life after deputies say her own father nearly beat her to death.

But one man is being credited with giving her the chance to survive. Don Gilbert is still in shock after he intervened when the girl's father, 32-year-old Kyle Holder, started attacking his daughter at a motel in Vancouver, Washington, authorities say.

Deputies say Holder and his girlfriend were in their motel room and their 2-year-old daughter was sleeping when suddenly, Holder grabbed the girl and threw her out the window onto the concrete.

Law enforcement officers say he picked her up again, and threw her around several more times and started stomping on her head.

Gilbert heard screaming and ran out with his baseball bat.

Gilbert said, "Hit him once in the back -- he had the baby by the feet. (He) took her to the curb and just slammed her down. And that's when I cracked him in the skull three or four times."

Gilbert got Holder away from the girl until deputies could arrive, but he was still out of control, and officials said they had to use a Taser to subdue him.

In court, visible wounds from the beating Gilbert gave him could be seen on Holder's head.

He was also wearing a suicide prevention vest.

In court documents, Holder is quoted as allegedly saying, "I did not want to kill her, but I had to. I had to hold my daughter and crush her head so she could go up to the sky."

Prior to the baby's beating, deputies responded to a complaint about Holder earlier in the day. He was not arrested.

Gilbert says he noticed Holder was acting strangely. He said, "(Holder) was just babbling about God's coming for everybody and he's got to get the evil out of the daughter."

Deputies say Gilbert may have saved the girl's life, but as KPTV reports, don't try to call him a hero: "The question is, why wouldn't somebody do this?" Gilbert said. "I mean, the more time people take to care less about themselves and more about innocent people, you wouldn't have the crap that's going on in the world that we do now."

Holder is now charged with attempted murder and being held on $1 million bail.