A 33-year-old Rosemont man is in jail on felony charges that he submerged a 17-month-old boy's face in scalding water, causing second-degree burns.
Santiago R. Minjarez was charged with aggravated battery of a child, a Class X felony. Assistant State's Attorney Lesley Gool said Minjarez was trying to get the child to stop crying Tuesday when he held the baby upside down by his legs under the running hot water of a bathtub faucet.
“When the baby continued to cry, he submerged the baby's head in 2 or 3 inches of water in the bottom of the bathtub,” she said during a bond hearing Saturday.
The young boy was in a full-leg cast at the time as a result of an injury suffered a week ago. That injury is under investigation, Gool said.
Minjarez's wife, the mother of the baby, was not at the apartment at the time of the incident in which her 7-year-old son was also present. She was at a relative's home nearby after a reported argument with Minjarez a short time earlier, Gool said.
Police said Minjarez realized the baby needed medical care and tried to take the CTA Blue Line to the hospital, but he ended up at the O'Hare International Airport Kiss 'N' Fly parking lot off Mannheim Road, where he called his wife to meet him.
Police said Minjarez initially told his wife the baby was injured while the 7-year-old boy was watching him, Gool said. Police also reported Minjarez said he had taken heroin earlier in the day before the child was injured, Gool said.
The family drove to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where the baby is recovering and may require plastic surgery and skin grafts on his face, Gool said. “The baby suffers with second-degree burns on his face and eyelids. His eyes are swollen shut,” she added.
Hospital personnel contacted the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, which then called Rosemont police to investigate. Minjarez, who had been ordered out of the hospital by security Tuesday night because he was upsetting his wife, was arrested Wednesday when he returned to the hospital. Police said he admitted harming the child.
The children will remain in their mother's care, police said.
After showing photos to the judge of the injured boy in the hospital being held and sucking on a bottle of milk with a blue cast covering his leg, Gool requested Minjarez be held without bond.
Judge Donna Phelps-Felton set bond at $200,000 for Minjarez, who was on parole after doing jail time on burglary, arson and domestic battery charges.
Minjarez showed no emotion in court when Gool explained the details of the incident.
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