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December 28, 2012

Traverse City Police: Man scalded child's face

TRAVERSE CITY — A man who police believe scalded an infant's face with hot water could spend time in prison.

Traverse City resident Robert Allen Floyd is charged with second-degree child abuse, a 10-year felony. Floyd, 24, was arraigned Thursday and released after posting 10 percent of a $50,000 bond, court officials said.

Officers with the Traverse City Police Department went to Munson Medical Center on a report of a 4-month-old boy with second-degree burns covering his face. The injury happened while the infant was in Floyd's care. He is described in a police report as the boyfriend of the child's mother.

Investigators aren't exactly sure how or why the child was burned. Floyd told officers the boy spit up baby formula, so he took him to a kitchen sink and rinsed his face with a faucet sprayer. He realized the water was too hot when the child screamed, he said.

The child's burns suggest something else happened, Heffner said.

"The physicians treating the child say the burn pattern is not consistent with that type of an act," he said.

Heffner said Floyd also waited a few hours to take the child to the hospital, a delay that raised suspicions.

"With second-degree burns, it would be noticeable immediately that a child is suffering," he said.

Investigators later measured the temperature of the faucet sprayer at 130 degrees, Heffner said.

The child's mother, who wasn't home when the injury occurred, was upset when authorities told her Floyd would be arrested. She said the ordeal was an accident and that Floyd shouldn't be punished.

She "stated that the child's father had deserted her and that Floyd had stepped up to the plate and had been an outstanding father figure to the child," a report reads.

Floyd couldn't be reached for comment.

The child was taken to a burn center at the University of Michigan for treatment.

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