The extraordinarily high bail amount came from Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas after she saw graphic photos of the baby’s burned body. The man’s relatives cried out in court when the bail amount was announced, but Judge Chiampas was unmoved, saying, “I understand, but we can’t have this.”
Suburban Chicago Man Charged With Severely Burning Infant Child
Michael Barber, 24, of a south Chicago suburb has been charged with aggravated battery to a child due, possibly due to negligence, and is due back in court this week. Barber is being held at Cook County Jail on a staggering $2 million bail after the alleged incident that occurred last week near Chicago.
The 1-year-old baby boy was under the care of his unidentified mother at the time. While the baby normally resides with his father, his mother takes care of him on the weekends. So it’s unclear as to why the mother was watching the baby that particular day: a Wednesday.
The boy’s mother left the house to go to work, leaving the baby in the care of her boyfriend, the accused Michael Barber. Barber was giving the boy a bath around 8 a.m; around the time that the mother left for work, in their shared apartment in Harvey.
Mother’s Boyfriend Left in Charge of Bathing the Baby, Resulting in Serious Injuries to Child
Barber had the water turned on to an alarmingly hot degree, and the baby suffered from second- and third-degree burns to his feet, buttocks and genital area as a result, according to prosecutors. Photos of the boy’s injuries also reveal what look like bite marks or small cuts on his lower stomach, although it’s unclear what caused them or when those injuries happened.
After Barber had put the baby in the too-hot bath, he turned away to grab a towel. When he turned around to remove the boy from the bathtub, he found the baby face down in the water and unresponsive. According to neighbors and police reports, Barber grabbed the boy from the bathtub and ran screaming for help. He found a neighbor who is a certified nursing assistant, who helped him resuscitate the baby with CPR.
The child was rushed to the nearest Illinois hospital, where he was treated with skin-graft surgery to repair the burns. It’s unclear if the child is back with his father, or if he’s been placed in child protective custody for the time being, but he’s still recovering from his burns and skin-graft surgeries.
The boy’s mother was not in the courtroom at the time of Barber’s bail hearing, and it’s unclear as to whether or not she’ll be charged with negligence as a result of the incident. She may be removed from her weekend parental custody rights.
The disturbing images of the child’s burned body prompted Judge Chiampas to set Barber’s bail at an extremely high $2 million, which garnered the attention of national news.