FORT WAYNE – A father already accused of neglecting his baby daughter now faces another neglect charge related to second-degree burns she received from scalding bathwater.
Arriaga Walker, 31, of the 600 block of Fifth Street, was charged Thursday with felony neglect of a dependent. He has a warrant for his arrest.
On April 14, Walker called 911, saying his daughter, who was about a year old, had been burned while in the tub. Paramedics took the girl to St. Joseph Hospital with burns to her lower back, buttocks and legs, court papers said.
Walker told Fort Wayne police his daughter had feces on her back, so he took her to the bathroom and turned on the tub water. He checked the water temperature with his hand, and it was warm. So he stood her up in the tub and let the water run over her back, court papers stated.
He told police that as he turned to reach for a washcloth, she started to move around and fuss. When he turned back, he saw the water was steaming and that she was beginning to cry. He pulled her out of the hot water, turned it to cold and started putting cold water on her back. When he used the washcloth to clean her back, he noticed that pieces of her skin sloughed off. Realizing the girl was badly burned, he called her mother and then 911, court papers stated.
Walker told police there had been problems with the water heater suddenly overheating the water even though the temperature had not been adjusted. The couple had not told their landlord about the problem, court papers said.
A crime scene technician found that the water from the tub faucet reached 138 degrees. The girls doctor told police that she would have received her burns after two to three seconds of exposure to water that hot, according to court papers.
The initial neglect charge against Walker was filed April 20 after his daughter was diagnosed with bleeding on her brain. His trial in that case is set to start Oct. 16. He has been ordered to have no contact with his daughter.
According to court papers, he was taking care of the girl, then 4 months old, on Aug. 31. When the girls mother came home, the girl was crying and tired, so the couple took her to Lutheran Hospital where a scan revealed she had new and old bleeds on her brain, court papers stated.
Walker told police his daughter had fallen out of a baby tub during a bath. He said he did not hear her hit her head and that she started crying real bad after her bath, according to court papers.
In that interview, Walker said he would not do anything intentionally to hurt his daughter.