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Man arrested after icy water rescue of son in Denver facing several charges, including attempted murder

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Posted at 11:29 AM, Jan 24, 2022

DENVER – A Denver father who was arrested last week in connection to the attempted murder of his 5-year-old son along the Cherry Creek Trail on Jan. 12 was charged Monday by the Denver District Attorney’s Office.

Around 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 12, the Denver Fire Department says crews received a call that a 5-year-old boy had fallen into the water along the trail near the intersection of South Chester Court and East Cornell Avenue, and his father had jumped in and injured himself trying to save the boy.

The father, 42-year-old Michael Ninomiya, was the one to call 911, according to the arrest affidavit. Details of the call were redacted in the document.

Firefighters were eventually able to locate Ninomiya and his son in a fenced off drainage culvert along the High Line Canal near Boston Street and Cornell Avenue, the affidavit states.

Denver Fire Department Capt. Greg Pixley told Denver7 firefighters pulled the father and son out of the water.

The child was transported to Children's Hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

In court late last week, Ninomiya’s attorney said he had severe mental health issues and was not accepting treatment for them in the past. The attorney said that after receiving treatment at the hospital, Ninomiya feels immense guilt for what transpired.

The court heard that Ninomiya took steps to appear like the incident was an accident, but also that he had confessed to trying to kill the boy.

On Monday, he was charged with one count of attempted first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder of a victim under the age of 12 and being in a position of trust, one count of attempted child abuse resulting in death, one count of child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury, and with two counts of the sentencing enhancement charge of having committed a violent crime with serious bodily injury or death.

Ninomiya’s next court appearance is on Jan. 25 at 9:30 a.m.