A Woodland woman is accused of burning a 3-year-old boy's hand with a steaming hot iron and then pushing him down a flight of stairs two days later.
Teresa Hernandez, 23, made her first court appearance Thursday. She is charged with first-degree assault of a child.
Police were called by emergency room staff at Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital in Vancouver Wednesday after a boy was brought in with burns to his hands and severe head trauma.
Court documents state the boy's father was not home for either injury. The man decided to bring his son to the hospital when he noticed him walking unsteadily.
Police interviewed the man's live-in girlfriend. She initially told police, along with the boy's father, that the child's hand injury was the result of him grabbing a hot iron when she stepped out of the room for a moment, according to a probable cause affidavit.
She claimed to not know what caused the head injury, "but believed he fell down while playing outside," court documents state.
Investigators said she eventually changed her story and admitted she had burned the 3-year-old's hand with the iron on Sunday. Court documents state the boy was standing next to the table where Hernandez was ironing, and she pressed the iron down on his hand for approximately five seconds.
"The defendant stated that (the boy) began screaming and tried to pull his hand away but was unable to do so since she was pressing down too hard with the iron," the court documents state.
Hernandez told police the iron was hot enough to release steam.
Hernandez then admitted causing the boy's head injury two days later. Court documents state she was at the top of a staircase bringing laundry down the stairs, when she pushed the basket into the boy causing him to tumble down 12 steps and hit his head on a tile floor.
Hernandez told investigators she did not intend to seek medical attention for the boy for either injury, according to the probable cause sheet.
The boy was taken to Randall Children's Hospital in Portland for emergency surgery to his head. He was listed in fair condition Thursday morning.
Hernandez is due back in court for a formal arraignment Feb. 4.
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