Las Vegas Sun

August 29, 2015

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Burned toddler languished without proper medical care, arrest report says

Twenty-year-old Las Vegas resident Demar Barnes was arrested on charges of child abuse and neglect by Metro Police Thursday after officers discovered his two-year-old stepson, who had been under Barnes' care, covered with multiple burns.

Twenty-year-old Las Vegas resident Demar Barnes was arrested on charges of child abuse and neglect by Metro Police Thursday after officers discovered his two-year-old stepson, who had been under Barnes' care, covered with multiple burns.

A 2-year-old Las Vegas toddler suffered second- and third-degree burns to nearly 30 percent of his body, including his genitals, and had been deprived of professional medical care for eight days, according to a police report released Friday.

The boy’s stepfather, Demar Barnes, 20, Las Vegas, was arrested on Thursday and faces charges of child abuse with substantial bodily harm and child neglect with substantial bodily harm, Metro Police said. The boy had been left in Barnes’ care by his mother, 18-year-old Dialasia Williamson, who had been on a work trip to New York, police said.

Williamson left for New York on April 28 for work and returned Wednesday to Las Vegas after receiving troubling phone calls from a friend and her husband on the condition of her son, the report said. Upon Williamson’s return Wednesday, she saw her son’s injuries and immediately called 911, police said.

According to the report, Williamson’s son had suffered second- and third-degree burns to his lower legs and the tops of his feet. Second-degree burns also were found on his genitals and behind. Paper embedded into the boy’s burn wounds had to be surgically removed at University Medical Center, where the boy is recovering, the report said.

Barnes did not seek medical care for the 2-year-old after the burns first surfaced April 24, police said. Hospital officials also reported the boy was suffering from a fractured clavicle, according to the report.

Both parents told police the boy sustained the clavicle injury in an April 6 incident in which he fell out of a cart in a Walmart parking lot and landed on his head.

The 2-year-old is in critical condition, the report said.

According to the report, Barnes had told both Williamson and police that the boy had been burned by bathwater on April 25 and that his skin was peeling and bleeding. Barnes further told police the boy’s burns had blistered and he had cleaned the burns with peroxide and paper towels.

Police told Barnes the injuries the boy suffered did not fit Barnes’ description of what happened, but Barnes denied hurting the boy. He showed police a cell phone picture he had taken of the boy’s injuries, which police noted had a date imprint of April 24 on it.

Barnes had been in jail for four days for a domestic violence incident against his wife on Easter, according to the arrest report. He was released a day or two before his wife left for New York.

Barnes is incarcerated in the Clark County Detention Center, where he is being held without bail.

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