A Boston man is accused of throwing his girlfriend's four-year-old autistic twins into bitterly cold water at a beach on Monday (24 April) while high on heroin.

Mikel Anthony Hilerio, 29, of Roxbury, has been charged with two counts of recklessly endangering a child.

Amateur video footage handed to police shows Hilerio tossing a small child into the 45F (7C) sea at Constitution Beach on Boston's Atlantic coastline, ABC News reported.

He is reported to have dropped his girlfriend – the boys' mother – off at work before taking the twins to the beach.

A police report described the state of the children after troopers were called to the scene by witnesses. It said: "They were both shaking uncontrollably. One began to vomit violently in the ambulance."

The accused claims that he was not abusing the children but horsing around with them. His lawyer told a court that the they liked to "act out" and often "refuse to follow directions".

"Hilerio denied those allegations, stating that he loves those kids and they love him," the police report states. "He also stated that they like to play like that."

One officer wrote in the report: "I believe Hilerio was endangering both children by allowing them to be in the water and by violently throwing at least one of them in multiple times."

Hilerio reportedly admitted to snorting heroin four hours and one hour before the incident occurred.

Despite the double charge, it is unclear whether he threw both twins into the water or one of them multiple times while the other fled.

Hilerio was also charged with driving without licence on the day in question. He was released for $1000 (£880) bail and has been ordered to stay drug and alcohol free.

The Department of Children and Families has been notified.

Mikel Anthony Hilerio
Mikel Anthony Hilerio, 29, claimed the twin boys 'like to play like that' Screengrap / Youtube / Fox25 Boston