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LUFKIN, Texas (KETK) – A Lufkin man was arrested after being accused of burning a child in a bathtub, said the Angelina County Justice of the Peace for Precinct 1.
Miguel Gonzalez was charged with injury to a child for the incident that happened on Sept. 26. Officers said the man intentionally put a female child younger than 14-years-old in hot water in a bathtub and her skin was “peeling off.”
Gonzalez was dating the child’s mother, according to law enforcement. Authorities asked the man to provide a statement on how the baby was burned, and they said he refused. Gonzalez had a warrant for an unrelated charge, and he was arrested for it and taken to the Lufkin Police Department.
A detective said the mom reported Gonzalez had taken care of the girl that day. The officer said the woman had two black eyes and possible stitches on her forehead. The child’s mother told the officer she fell in the bathtub, and when he asked again what happened, she said Gonzalez had pushed her, according to the detective.
The detective said he also had old photos of the child that showed she had two black eyes. The officer said he was told the child fell while Gonzalez watched her another time.
The mother also said the girl had suffered several injuries lately because she had fallen a lot, and she also mentioned she had not seen the falls because she was always at work, said authorities.
The detective later went to the police department to speak to Gonzalez. Officials said the man was told about his Miranda Rights, and he waived these to speak to the detective.
Law enforcement said Gonzalez told them he was caring for the child that day while the mom was at work. He said the water was lukewarm and he let the child play in the tub while he talked with his roommate for two minutes, said authorities.
Gonzalez said when he checked on the child she was unresponsive, and he noticed she turned on the hot water, said law enforcement.
According to police, he pulled her out of the water and saw that her skin was “peeling off,” then he and his roommate drove the child to the hospital.
The detective said when he asked the man about the injuries to the child’s eyes, he stated she fell in the bathtub.
Law enforcement said the max water temperature in the tub was 143 degrees Fahrenheit. The detectives also examined the child’s injuries, and they were consistent with those of immersion abuse, said officials.
The injuries also showed she was “in a constant level of water of excessive temperature.”
Officials said the child would naturally have yelled or tried to get out out the tub. Law enforcement also said the injuries suggest she was not able to freely move in the tub. The girl was flown to Shriners Burn Hospital in Galveston.