VIDEO: Suspect pulled baby from woman's arms

Police Chief John Orzech describes chaotic scene when police arrived. Get index to related articles, video and photo galleries here.
Jason Werling
May 18, 2013

Click the play button in the video player below at right.

"They were both struggling to gain control of the baby," Orzech said. 

Denzel Castile, 19, broke away with the infant and stabbed her twice before charging at officers. 

An SPD officer scooped up Athena and rushed her out to the ambulance squad that had arrived. 

"They took off right away to the hospital. Lifeflight was there but they couldn't get the baby stabilized. They worked on her for several hours and she passed away," Orzech said. 

A woman in the house said Castile erupted in violence.

"He started going crazy. He just blew up. He just blew up. He lost it,” a witness told police immediately after Castile, 19, broke away and stabbed Athena.

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Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


I am very close with the mother and honestly many of these comments would probably hurt her. Not only has she lost her precious little baby girl, but she has also lost who she thought her cousin was, that did this to her baby. I know she is very confused and hurt. I am not saying that even though Denzel seemed to be a good kid in the past that what he did is justified, but I am saying that we do not have all the pieces to the puzzle. This sweet baby girl is dead and he will have to suffer the consequences no matter what he was like in the past. I just wish that some of you leaving harsh and disturbing comments would take into consideration that there is a hurting mother who is hurting over her baby and her cousin. None of us can imagine how difficult this must be.

LeftwhileIhadAChance's picture

I agree 100%. But people have nothing better to do than to sit here & harshly judge someone they don't know.


Then maybe the mother shouldn't be on the SR reading the comments. I would think she would have more important things to occupy her time.


KAM..since you said,"...would probably hurt her." I assume she hasn't read the comments and you should be a good friend and not tell her.


I don't think anyone who describes him as a nice boy, a friendly boy, a boy with manners is denying what he has done. I have been around Denzel enough to tell you that what they are describing is what I saw. People are just SHOCKED that he was capable of this, they never expected him to do something like this. How would you like to have a friend or family member who did what he did? These folks are just trying to cope with the situation. They are not excusing his behavior, just wanting to understand why he would be so violent. It is not easy having a family member murdered and it is not easy being the family member of a murderer. This poor family has both. The justice system will try him and if he is found guilty (mostly like will), the system will decide if he should die. Show some compassion to those close to the situation. There are a lot of people hurting right now.


What would turn a good, well mannered, educated boy psycho? I'll tell you, two words....



That's exactly what I've been thinking, DickTracey.


That is what I am thinking too


me too


Same here ....good ; ole bath salts!


Good point.


Or Schizophrenia, he's at the right age to develop it. Either way he should be locked up & never let out.


Proverbs 16:32 ESV

"Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city."

Self discipline and self control are sadly lacking in far too many people.


I think the public hearing the story as it unfolds, helps the public understand better how such a terrible tragedy happened. At this point is is unbelievable how someone could harm a innocent child in such an awful way.

Sitting In The ...

"There are crimes that, like frost on flowers, in one single night destroy character and reputation" - Henry Ward Beecher

Simple Enough II

Curious what would make a "normal" person ( I have to assume that as I don't know him) behave in such a manner. Was he on antidepressents? did he take or use drugs? As some suggested or wondered, did he take bath salts? What had this family out in the yard fighting or who were they trying to subdue this guy?

Julie R.

An 11-week old infant can't even support their heads yet. If the cops were there when he was trying to pull the baby from the woman's arms, why didn't they stop him? Why didn't they get him in a choke-hold or something?


@ Julie R..I asked the same question!...I mean really SPD were you afraid of the situation and didn't react as quick as you should have? I mean you were their...


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


I blame ALL that were there acting a fool in front of that beautiful baby PERIOD!!


These officers are not afraid. Ask this question, how long does it take to stab someone? How many officers were there at the time the stabbing actually occurred? If you think you can do it better, go for it. If not, stop judging the people who put themselves in harms way for the city of Sandusky. This is like suggesting these officers simply didn't care that a baby was stabbed. Let me tell you, some of them have kids of their own, some don't... but I know that EVERY one of them walked away with a piece of their heart missing as a result of what they saw.


This is more ignorant than the people saying this was a "good person". You have the NERVE to suggest that the officers responding simply sat there while a baby was killed because they were fearful?!?! The was ONE officer on the scene first, who was trying to break up the dog pile. The baby was then taken from the woman holding her. How long do you think it takes to stab someone? Maybe 2 seconds? You should be ASHAMED of yourself. If you think you can do this better, by all means, put your badge on and get out there. Or hide on your computer posting the most ignorant comment I have seen. These officers are REVLIVING seeing a DEAD BABY and you simply suggest they should have tried a little harder?!


I know the family most of my life and Denzil WAS a well respected young man! His mother did a wonderful job raising him he was brought up in the church heavy!..Now what happen that tragic night was unthinkable! and everyone that knows him would have never thought in a million years he would be capable of doing something so horrific to his own sweet baby cousin so here it goes {my thoughts}...If Denzil was in fact on a drug of some sort or the marijuana that was passed to him at a party was "laced" and he hasn't been "right" since.. OR the fact he was on bath salts that DOES NOT EXCUSE HIM!! HE HAD A CHOICE TO SMOKE THAT WEED OR INHALE THOSE BATH SALTS {Or whatever you do with them}WHATS SO EVER!! But in reality this family {all of them} are in GREAT pain because this family is very much in torn apart and in shock!...One infant dead and the other dead in the system however you wanna look at it he is gone too...PRAY FOR STRENGTH FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY NOT JUST SIDES...

Julie R.

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


Think before you speak. Those officers would have traded their own lives to save that baby.


Absolutely they would have!


You don't really think she'd have anything good to say about any public official, do you? Maybe he went nuts because he was tired of hearing the disinherited drone on about "fraudulent" deeds, titles, and Sheriff's sales?

dorothy gale


Julie R.

brassman: Why did you have my comment deleted? All I did was ask was ask why nobody stopped that maniac when he was trying to pull that infant out of somebody's arms.

As for your sarcasm that I'm making things up about your corrupt Erie County courts "fraudulent" deeds, titles, and Sheriff sales --- duh, it's a matter of public record.