Memphis man accused of scalding baby daughter

Mauricus Coleman
Mauricus Coleman

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Memphis man was behind bars Friday, accused of burning his baby daughter.

According to witnesses, neighbors heard screams Monday afternoon coming from a house on Coleman Street.

"I heard the baby screaming 'cause I was sitting outside, but I didn't know what was going on," neighbor Sharonda Richards said.

The screams were coming from a 10 and a half month old little girl, who was being burned in a bathtub.  Memphis police said the child's father, Mauricus Coleman, was asked by the child's mother to give the baby a bath. But the request made Coleman angry, so he allegedly held the baby under a stream of scalding hot water.

Neighbor Lakeisha Tate held the child until an ambulance arrived.

"When she brought the baby out to me, she couldn't get her to stop crying, so I got her and I was holding her, and she had burns all down her left side," Tate said.

The child suffered second degree burns over 15 percent of her body.  Tate said the little girl was being treated at Lebonheur, where she and her mother will undergo surgery.

"She said that they were going to take some skin off of her and put it on her baby," Tate said.

Police say Coleman initIally ran from the scene after the crime, but they later apprehended him. Friday, officials said he had been charged with abuse of a child under six.

Coleman's prior criminal record includes a domestic assault charge, three counts of driving on a suspended or revoked license, and failure to appear in court.

"He had did something before, and I told her, 'You need get away from him cause he's gonna get your kids took from you,' Tate said.

Coleman is in police custody and should have his first court hearing early next week.

The child is expected to survive her injuries.

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