SALEM — An 18-month-old toddler is being treated for serious burns at a Boston hospital after his mother’s boyfriend allegedly poured scalding hot water over his head.
Shawn Ward, 23, of Pembroke, Mass., was arraigned yesterday in 10th Circuit Court on a felony charge of second degree assault with bodily injury to a person under age 13 and a single charge of endangering the welfare of a child.
Police believe Ward, who was babysitting for the young boy Friday night, poured scalding water over the child’s head, resulting in burns to the baby’s face, head, upper torso and arms, Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten said.
Police believe it was several hours after Ward allegedly burned the baby before he called 911, Patten said. Salem Fire Department personnel responded and transported the young boy to Lawrence General Hospital. After medical staff there saw the extent of his injuries, he was immediately transferred to Tufts Medical Center in Boston, where he remains.
Yesterday, Judge Michael Sullivan set Ward’s bail at $20,000 cash. He was ordered to have no contact with the child or the child’s mother, according to Salem police prosecutor Jason Grosky. A probable cause hearing is scheduled for Monday in 10th Circuit Court.
Ward made bond yesterday, according to a corrections website.
After the alleged incident, but before a 911 call was made, Ward made contact with the child’s mother via text messages and phone calls, Patten said.
He allegedly told the mother there was “something wrong” with the baby, Patten said, but did not say he was responsible.
The mother has not been charged. There were no other children in the home. Ward is not the child’s biological father.
The Division of Youth and Family Services has been contacted, Patten said.
When Lawrence hospital personnel examined the child Friday evening, they contacted Salem police, Patten said.
Police interviewed Ward on Saturday afternoon.
“Based on interviews with medical staff at both hospitals, the mom and the suspect, warrants were sought and (Ward) was taken into custody,” Patten said.
He said police believe the temperature of the water poured over the child’s head was about 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s one of the worst cases (of child abuse),” Patten said. “However, we find it unconscionable that any adult would do this to an infant.”