Woman arrested for throwing hot water on 3-year-old

Print
Email
|

by JESSICA HOLLOWAY / KVUE News

kvue.com

Posted on December 26, 2012 at 8:19 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 26 at 8:21 PM

AUSTIN --  A woman has been charged with injury to a child after throwing scalding water on the three-year-old's face.

Investigators say Kelli Garza-Rodriguez, 24, injured the boy while babysitting him.

According to an arrest affidavit the incident happened on Sept. 11, when Garza-Rodriguez was babysitting four of her girlfriend's children at the Lakeview Apartments on Lakeshore Drive.

Garza-Rodriguez and her girlfriend moved out but their neighbor Daniel Liverman was appalled when he heard what happened.

"Well I think it's terribly tragic. I think that's not a way to treat a child," he told KVUE.

According to her arrest affidavit, Rodriguez says she poured the hot water on the boy because he urinated on the floor. She told police she was angry and that the toddler "knew better."

"I don't think there's anything worse that I can think of," Dr. Mark Tabarrok with Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Dell Children's Hospital said.

He told KVUE the average household water heater reaches 120 degrees. In this case investigators say the water caused second and third degree burns on the boy.

"That's pain, number one. Number two, scarring, dehydration, scarring," Dr. Tabarrok said.

APD says Rodriguez tried to lie about the injuries at first. Investigators tested the family's faucet and took temperature readings - that's when they found out Rodriguez wasn't telling the truth.

According to police she admitted she grabbed a glass, filled it up with hot water halfway and then threw it in the child's face.

"Then begins the hard road. The long road, healing, skin grafts, especially of the face," Dr. Tabarrok said. "They're gonna continue to have this scar that grows with them, along with the stigma that comes with having a burn injury."

Dr. Tabarrok and Daniel Liverman say they know what it's like dealing with a young child, and know they can sometimes be frustrating.

"Step away, cool off, count to 10," Dr. Tabarrok said. "If you ever get to that point, just step away."

"Love your children, understand they're gonna be a handful. After all they're growing up and trying to be little adults," Liverman said.

Kelli Garza-Rodriguez is charged with injury to a child, which is a third degree felony. If convicted she faces two to 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000. Her bond is set at $20,000.

The child's mother was not at home when the incident occurred and has not been charged.

Police say the toddler is expected to be okay.

Print
Email
|