TAMPA, Fla. - Christopher Reddick, 19, is facing aggravated child abuse charges for allegedly causing severe burns to a toddler in his care, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said they were called to Tampa General Hospital on Feb. 5 for a report of a three-year-old with multiple second-degree burns to the lower extremities, which occurred the day before at an apartment on Silver Run Drive in Tampa.
According to deputies, the child’s mother was at work when the incident happened. When detectives interviewed her, she said Reddick is her boyfriend and he told her that he boiled a pot of water on the stove for the child’s bath after using all of the hot water for his own shower and claimed that while carrying the pot of water into the bathroom, the victim’s younger sibling walked in front of him, causing him to trip and spill the pot of water into the tub and on the toddler. Detectives said when they asked Reddick about the incident he became argumentative and left.
Emergency Room doctors said the child’s severe burns appeared to be consistent with being submerged into scolding hot water.
Deputies arrested Reddick on Feb. 12 and charged him with aggravated child abuse with great bodily harm and child neglect with great bodily harm.
"I am sickened by the thought of someone intentionally hurting a young child,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “Christopher Reddick's actions could scar this child for life, both mentally and physically. It is so important for parents to be careful with who they allow to care for their children. We cannot and will not allow people to harm the most innocent members of our society."
Reddick was also charged with carrying a concealed firearm and possession of a firearm with a serial number removed after detectives found a loaded gun with the serial number scratched off in his pocket at the time of the arrest.