A man who caught his girlfriend's 3-year-old son playing with a lighter allegedly burned the boy's hand on a stove in her Slidell home to teach him a lesson about playing with fire, police said.
The boy, whose name was not released, suffered third-degree burns on two fingers, wounds that festered for several days before he received medical treatment, Slidell police Sgt. Brian Nicaud.
Joseph E. Trotter, 37, 19 Brown Court, Laurel, Miss., is charged with second-degree cruelty to a juvenile after the boy's grandparents discovered the burns and took him to a hospital, Nicaud said Tuesday.
The boy's mother, who was not there at the time, put bandages on her son's hands later but did not seek professional medical help, Nicaud said.
The child's grandfather discovered the burns several days later, on Jan. 31, when he stopped by to visit the boy. He took his grandson to a hospital, and his wife called police, Nicaud said.
"The grandmother said the boy's mother would do anything to keep Trotter out of trouble," he said.
During questioning by detectives, Trotter allegedly admitted burning the boy's hand.
If convicted of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile, Trotter could face up to 40 years in prison.
Mr. Trotter should go to jail along with this child's mother.
source Times Picayune 2-7-07