Boy, 7, left with hole in his skull after neighbor randomly attacks him with rock metres from his door in California

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A SEVEN-year-old boy was left with a hole in his skull after a neighbor allegedly attacked him with a rock as he walked home from a pool party – just meters from his front door. 

Little Gavin Ludwick was making his way home from a neighbor’s house just four doors away when it is believed Daniel Poulsen, 32, flew into an unprovoked violent rage in Desert Hot Springs, California. 

The youngster was discovered lying lifeless in the street by another neighbor before being rushed to hospital, where doctors told devastated mom Wendy that part of his skull was so badly fractured it could not be saved. 

Poulsen, 32, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following the attack after neighbors discovered shocking CCTV footage of the incident. 

Poulsen was also noticed on CCTV as he stood on his porch following the attack, watching the boy lying in agony in the street for 20 minutes.

Gavin’s heartbroken mom believed her son had been hit by a car until the video footage revealed the horror behind her son’s shocking injuries.

She told the Sun Online: “When I first saw him I thought he had been hit by a car. 

“I was in shock, I thought ‘why have they not stopped’.

“I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch the footage. When I found out about it I was shocked and mad. 

“I couldn’t believe someone would do this to such a sweet little boy, he [Poulsen] doesn’t even know Gavin, they have never had any interaction.

“He is lucky to be alive. He could have easily killed him.”

Gavin had been invited to a pool party to play with friends just four doors away and was believed to be getting a lift home on the neighbor’s golf cart. 

However, Gavin made his own way home and was found by neighbor, Alturo Delgardo, lying face down in the street. 

Gavin’s sister Kaylee was horrified after opening the door to see the youngster unconscious in the arms of their stunned neighbor.

Wendy said: “The swelling was getting worse and worse and he was in and out of consciousness. Then he began throwing up. 

“When paramedics arrived they told me he was in an active seizure before one of them picked him up and said we are taking him and rushed out the door.”

He was taken to Desert Regional Medical Centre and later airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Centre and placed in intensive care after being medically sedated. 

Doctors were shocked by scans and x-rays of the schoolboy’s head and told the family that his skull was so shattered by the blows that they would not be able to save the severely damaged bone.

He was rushed to surgery where the fragments were removed and will now have to wait three months for swelling to subside before a metal plate is added. 

He will spend months in hospital before also needing intense rehab as doctors are still unclear if there will be any lasting damage. 

Wendy said: “He can’t talk yet but he can make babbling sounds. He can sit up now but is still very weak. 

“It’s very upsetting, sometimes I just fall apart when they are doing procedures on him and I have to walk away. 

“I sat with him and told him, ‘momma is not going to leave you, momma is here’. 

“I don’t think he will remember anything that happened and I hope he doesn’t.”

The family are also dealing with the heartbreaking loss of Gavin’s father, Charles, who died from lung cancer in March this year. 

Friend’s of the family have gathered round to raise funds for the youngster as they struggle with a large medical bill for Gavin’s care. 

So far the GoFundMe page has raised over $60,000 while the paramedics who treated him sent kind words of support after visiting him in hospital.

They said:  “We are so sorry that the family and friends are all having to cope with such a senseless act. Gavin is in our thoughts and hearts and it was a privilege to help take care of him.”

Desert Hot Springs Police conducted an extensive investigation along with Riverside County Sheriff and California Highway Patrol and nearby surveillance video led them to arrest Daniel Poulsen, 32, early Sunday morning. 

Poulsen was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday afternoon at the Banning Justice Center.

Judge Alfonso Fernandez has order a doctor to evaluate whether Poulsen is mentally fit to be prosecuted on attempted murder and other charges.

Fernandez kept the defendant’s bail at $1million, and scheduled a hearing for September 17 at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.

Court records show Poulsen has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial at least 11 times over the years and has been arrested 15 times in Riverside County since 2007, reports NBC.

Please click here to donate to Gavin’s family.

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