Arrest Made in Toddler's Death

Homicide detectives arrested Benny Harris Jr. Tuesday morning in connection with the death of his two-year old son, Benny Harris III.

The boy "was in the exclusive care of his father when the blunt force trauma injury was suffered," said Lt. Kevin Rooney of the San Diego Police Homicide Unit.

Rooney declined to say if the Harris Jr. used an object to inflict the injury. He also reinforced that this isn't an "accidental - shaken baby" situation.

Police received a 911 call around 7:20 p.m. Thursday from a man saying his 2-year-old son was "unconscious and not breathing" at 10210 San Diego Mission Road, said police spokesperson Lt. Terry McManus.

Dispatch personnel helped the man with resuscitation efforts until paramedics arrived, and the boy was taken to Rady Children's Hospital, where doctors determined "severe head trauma was likely the cause of his medical distress," McManus said.

Bennie Lee Harris III died after suffering severe head trauma. He was pronounced dead Friday at 5 p.m.

Homicide Lt. Kevin Rooney says Harris was arrested in El Cajon, but that he may have been living with the boy's mother inside the apartment unit at a Mission Valley Complex.

The boy's mother was not home when the fatal injury occurred Thursday, police said.

According to preliminary reports, the boy had started experiencing "seizure-like symptoms" before the 911 call, probably due to a previous head injury, according to police.

Harris was booked into jail on one count of murder and one count of assault on a child under 8 years of age causing death. He will be arraigned later this week.

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