Bail set at $2M for man charged with scalding infant

SHARE Bail set at $2M for man charged with scalding infant
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Michael Barber | Police mug shot

A 1-year-old boy had to undergo skin-graft surgery after he was scalded in a hot tub while under the care of his mother’s fiancé.

Prosecutors on Saturday detailed the brutal injuries to the baby, which include second- and third-degree burns to the baby’s feet, buttocks and genital area, as well as bite marks to parts of his body.

Michael Barber, 25, of the 100 block of East 155th Street, in Harvey is charged with aggravated battery to a child. Prosecutors said he may face further charges stemming from the bites, which were located above the baby’s genitals on his stomach.

It happened Wednesday when the child’s mother told Barber to give the baby a bath after she left for work. Prosecutors said Barber noticed the water was hot but briefly turned away to grab a towel. When he turned back he found the baby face down in the water and not breathing. He then pulled the baby out and ran outside to get help, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Shawn Abraham said.

His neighbor was a registered nurse, who ran into the home and performed CPR to resuscitate the baby. She also called police after noticing the burns and a bite mark, Abraham said.

Abraham said the baby lived with his father. Barber lived with the boy’s mother, and the two were engaged. The mother only saw her son on weekends, he said.

The mother confirmed to police and doctors that the baby didn’t have the injuries before she left for work.

After viewing images of the baby’s injuries in a courtroom on Saturday, Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas set Barber’s bail at $2 million. Barber has no criminal history.

Family members of the baby’s father were in the courtroom and cheered after hearing the bond. The boy’s grandmother told Chiampas the baby is undergoing skin graft surgery.

Chiampas chided them for the cheers but offered her sympathies: “My heart goes out to all of you.”

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