After a Mesa woman tossed boiling water on her husband and child, the couple decided that only the husband should be hospitalized, as they feared that Child Protective Services might find out.
CPS did find out, and that 4-year-old child has since been taken to the Maricopa County Burn Unit -- two weeks after being burned, police say.
According to court documents obtained by New Times, Joscilin Smith, 28, allegedly threw the pot of water at her husband, 29-year-old Aaron Roland, during a "domestic dispute."
Some of that water splashed onto their 4-year-old son, according to the documents.
Roland was taken to a hospital by ambulance for treatment for his burns, but the couple opted to treat their son "with creams and bandages purchased at the store," the documents state.
CPS received a report of the burned child, and relayed that to police. When police went to Smith and Roland's Mesa home, the couple told police that their son was staying with a relative. Upon further questioning, they revealed that they were hiding the boy in a closet.
The boy was transported to the burn center with about 8 percent of his body covered in second-degree burns, according to court documents.
The couple told police the pot of boiling water was "knocked off the stove" two weeks ago, and they didn't get medical attention "out of fear they would be suspected of child abuse and lose their seven children," court documents state.
The child's grandmother showed up to the home and told police that she had been on the phone with Smith during this whole thing. She claimed Smith threw the water at her husband.
Three of the other children also told police that their brother was burned while their parents were in a "physical altercation," court documents state.
The couple eventually admitted the water-tossing was no accident, according to court documents.
"Both the defendant and his wife blamed each other for not taking the child to seek medical treatment but both said they did not because they were afraid they would have all their children taken away," a police probable-cause statement says.
Wouldn't you know, court documents indicate, "This fear was due to multiple encounters with Child Protective Services in multiple states."
Both Smith and Roland were booked into jail on felony child-abuse charges.