SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A south Sacramento man is in jail and a toddler under his care is in the hospital in critical condition with third degree burns on half his body.
CBS13’s Ron Jones spoke to the suspect, 22-year-old Kirk Douglas, Wednesday night in an exclusive jailhouse interview, where Douglas claimed it was all an accident.
“I left him in the tub to attend to my other child and I paid no attention to the water temperature,” he said from the Sacramento County mail jail. “I didn’t know the water was hot.”
But police say what Douglas did was criminal. It happened at an apartment complex in south Sacramento. Investigators say while the boy’s mother, Douglas’ girlfriend, was away, Douglas disciplined young Armani White for urinating on himself and forced him to sit in hot scalding water. When fire crews got to the apartment, they immediately called the cops.
“Those injuries were pretty severe. Third-degree burns on 50 percent of his body,” Sacramento Police Sgt. Andrew Pettit said.
Burns went from his waist to his feet. Armani was rushed to the hospital.
Douglas claims it wasn’t discipline. He says he was in the living room while Armani was taking a bath.
Jones asked Douglas if that was the case, why didn’t Armani just jump out of the bathtub?
“I don’t know why he didn’t,” Douglas said from the jail. “I was in the living room. If he would have screamed sooner I would have been back there.”
Douglas says when he heard a scream, he ran to the tub.
“When I got there, his face was down in the water,” Douglas said.
He said when he saw how severe the burns were, he called 911.
“When I took him into the living room and called 911, he really wasn’t responding to me,” Douglas said. “I would call his name and I would get nothing.”
Armani never said a word.
“Kept calling his name but still no answer. Kept hitting him in the face trying to get him to respond,” Douglas said.
The rest of Armani’s family is with him at Shriner’s Hospital as he gets treated for his burns.
“He wasn’t a bad kid,” said Stephanie Brown, Armani’s grandmother. “You never had to spank him for anything.”
Armani remained in critical but stable condition Wednesday night. He’s scheduled for surgery on Thursday.
And Douglas is facing some serious charges of child abuse.
“To everybody it may sound suspicious, but only two people know what happened in that house — me and the 3-year-old boy and the man up above.”