SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As a toddler badly burned with hot water from the waist down recovers at Shriners Hospital, his grandmother told CBS13 she hopes the man accused of abusing the child “rots in hell.”
As little Armani lies in the hospital with tubes in his nose, his mother’s boyfriend sits behind bars, accused of forcing Armani to sit in scalding hot water after the 3-year-old urinated on himself.
In home video made available exclusively to CBS13 on Thursday, the boy’s grandfather, Richard Finley, asks Armani “Can you smile for me again?” and Armani complies.
“We’re here for you, OK?” Richard tells the young boy on the video. “Oh, I love you. You’re a big boy, aren’t you?”
“I just cried,” Richard told CBS13 of taking the video. “I just cried as I was filming it on my phone.”
The naturally happy little boy now faces a months-long recovery and a lifetime of scars after police say his mother’s boyfriend, Kirk Douglas, forced Armani to sit in hot water for peeing himself. Douglas was arrested on Monday after firefighters responded to his 911 call and, upon seeing the badly injured boy, immediately called police.
On Wednesday in a jailhouse interview with CBS13’s Ron Jones, Douglas denied intentionally hurting Armani.
“I didn’t know the water was hot,” he said, claiming Armani was taking a bath and that he was in the other room. “I left him in the tub to attend to my other child and I paid no attention to the water temperature.”
Arman’s grandparents aren’t buying that story.
“You’re lying,” grandmother Stephanie Brow said.
And Richard said that Armani was always careful when he gave the boy a bath.
“He always put his hands down and said ‘Papa, too hot. Papa, too cold,” Richard said. “He never got in the tub by himself.”
Armani’s grandparents said they never felt secure with him in Douglas’ care, that something just didn’t seem right.
“Personally, I hope he rots in hell,” Stephanie said.
Now they say their only comfort is that Armani is nowhere near the man accused of hurting him.
“I’m never leaving you all right?” Richard tells the boy. “I’m here for you, OK?”