Mom's boyfriend charged in fiery attack on Saxonburg boy
A Saxonburg man is facing multiple charges in a May attack in which police say he intentionally poured a flammable liquid on his girlfriend's 7-year-old son and the boy was lit on fire.
Saxonburg police arrested Edward B. Myers, 35, of Carol Drive, Saxonburg on Wednesday.
According to a criminal complaint, on May 25 at about 11:30 p.m. Saxonburg Police spoke with a doctor at Butler Memorial Hospital who reported a 7-year-old boy had been taken to the emergency room with severe burns.
The boy had third-degree burns on his chest, neck and face, and had a large bump on his forehead that appeared to have occurred recently, according to the complaint. He was transferred to UPMC Mercy hospital's burn unit.
The child later told police that Myers didn't call anyone to help him and “‘it seemed like hours before his mother came back and took him to the hospital,” the criminal complaint states.
When talking with authorities, Myers and his children repeatedly referred to the injured boy as “the princess.”
According to the complaint, the boy's mother left her son with her boyfriend, Myers, and his two juvenile sons. She was gone from about 2 to 9:30 p.m.
She told doctors and police that when she asked Myers how her son had been hurt, he told her that he had been cleaning hair dye from the sink and had spilled nail polish remover on the boy. He said that another person's cigarette fell onto the boy's shirt and it ignited.
The child's father told officers that he believed his son had been intentionally burned, and a social worker advised police that the boy told her Myers had purposely hurt him.
When Saxonburg police Officer Justin Baptiste talked with the boy, the child said that when his mother left, Myers and his sons shot at him with “some guns” that fired black and yellow plastic balls or BBs.
That was how he got the bruise on his forehead, the boy told police.
He said Myers threw something from the stove into his eyes that burned and “felt like sand.”
He said Myers was filming him with a cell phone camera when it happened, according to the criminal complaint.
When the boy went into the bathroom to wash out his eyes, he said Myers followed him and poured nail polish remover over him.
He said that he wasn't sure how his shirt caught on fire, but that Myers or another person there did something that caused it.
The boy's mother told police that she spoke with one of the people there that night, whom police identified only by the initials K.M., and he told her that he had used a lighter to “prank” her son and that's when the shirt caught fire.
When police searched Myers' home on May 26, they found several cell phones, a pellet gun, a paintball gun and an Air Soft pistol containing orange and black projectiles.
Myers is charged with aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child, simple assault, reckless endangerment and possession of marijuana and a smoking pipe. He is being held in the Butler County jail on $250,000 bond.
Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.