(Warning: Graphic content)
PORTLAND, Ore. – A Portland man said he burned a friend’s baby with a lighter and caused bruises all over the boy’s body because he was frustrated that the baby was crying, court documents said.
Sean Anthony Middleton, 21, faces four counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment and four counts of third-degree assault.
The 10-month-old boy had bruises on his forehead, cheeks, chin, abdomen, genitals and back, court documents said. He also had a moon-shaped burn on his back, burnt hair and scratches on his face. Doctors said the boy was dehydrated and had likely not had food or water for a couple of days. He also tested positive for THC.
A child abuse doctor determined the boy’s injuries were caused by non-accidental trauma.
The baby’s mother told detectives that she asked her friend, Middleton, to babysit her child on Oct. 13. She said she had known Middleton for 2-3 months and believed she could trust him with her child, court documents said.
The woman told police that on the night of Oct. 14, Middleton sent her a text message saying that a cat scratched her son, but he was OK. He sent her another message that said the baby bumped his head on a skateboard.
After picking up her son on Oct. 15, the woman and her friend noticed burns and bruises while changing the baby's diaper. They brought the baby to a hospital, where doctors called police to report the suspicious injuries.
During an interview with detectives, Middleton said he was frustrated with the baby’s crying, so he grabbed the baby by the chest, court documents said. He admitted to causing additional bruises because he was frustrated that the baby was crying while getting his diaper changed. Middleton admitted to burning the baby’s back and hair. He said he did it for no reason, and that he “entertains his thoughts.”