ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – A St. George man has been arrested for allegedly abusing a 22-month-old baby in his care.
St. George Police have arrested the suspect, Robert Willis Anderson, 33, on two charges of aggravated child abuse.
Police responded to reports of possible child abuse involving a 22-month-old boy who had been “injured on several occasions while under the care of his mother’s boyfriend.”
The report details multiple injuries observed on the boy including “a patterned scar on his right thigh consistent with the mother’s report” that the infant had been placed on a hot kitchen burner while under Anderson’s care.
The infant also had a burn injury on his chest allegedly caused by leaning over a hot humidifier and a lip laceration after Anderson allegedly threw him into the air but failed to catch him, causing the boy to hit his head as he fell to the ground.
When questioned, Anderson told police the injuries were accidents and acknowledged they occurred while the infant was under his care and the child’s mother was not present. The injuries occurred throughout the period of February to April 2022, according to police records.
Anderson told officers he left the boy alone in a bedroom where the humidifier was turned on and sitting on the ground when the burn injury happened. Anderson claimed the lip laceration was caused while “he was playfully tossing the victim into the air while standing inside of a doorway, causing the victim’s head to strike the doorway.” Anderson says he was unable to catch the falling baby which caused him to hit the ground.
Officials say the boy also had bruising on his face along with a possible fracture injury. When questioned, Anderson claimed the injuries were caused by himself and the boy’s mother squeezing his cheeks in an attempt to administer liquid medication.
Anderson admitted during another occasion, he was driving around with the baby when he became upset with the boy and picked him up “by one leg and placed him in his car seat, presumably causing the fracture injury.”
Anderson was arrested on two counts of aggravated child assault and is currently booked at the Washington County Jail.