Madeira father charged with brutal abuse of nephew

David Dalton (Source: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)
David Dalton (Source: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

MADEIRA, OH (FOX19) - A Madeira man is behind bars after police say he caused third degree burns to his 2-year-old nephew and dislocated his elbow.

David Dalton Jr., 28, is facing two counts of endangering children.

"This is the worst one I've seen that I know we've had in 15 years now," said Madeira Police Lt. Chris Zumbiel.

Police are not releasing the child's name, but tell Fox19 the boy was staying with his uncle, Dalton Jr., from Thursday thru Sunday. Police said Dalton first got into a fight on Thursday night with the toddler at his trailer on Dawson Road after the child refused to stop watching television and go to bed.

"He reached down, grabbed him by the arm, pulled him, what he described as once, twice, three or four times and then felt and heard a loud pop," said Lt. Zumbiel.

Police said Dalton dislocated the toddler's elbow.

When Dalton's wife asked about the arm, police said Dalton told her the toddler must have slept on it strangely. The next day, police said Dalton got into a fight with his wife, and as soon as she left the house, he burned the little boy.

"He turned on the hot water in the bathroom, in the bathtub, and picked up his nephew and dipped him into the bathtub in hot water and held him there," said Lt. Zumbiel.

The child received third degree burns on the top of his foot and ankle, and second degree burns on the bottom of his foot.

Dalton again tried to cover up the abuse. Police said he told his wife the toddler wore their son's shoes and had developed a blister. After the burn began to peel, police said Dalton poured peroxide over it, sprayed the burn with neosporin, and put a sock over it.

The next day, the couple put shoes on the toddler and took him to see Thomas the Tank Engine. Officers said the couple then took the child to Bethesda North Hospital.

"At the hospital, he was screaming," said Lt. Zumbiel. "It was horrible to hear him screaming at the hospital, and I can only imagine from Thursday to Sunday, not being treated or being treated improperly, especially with the burn."

Police said the toddler had three pins placed in his right elbow, which had been dislocated. He also has multiple bruises on his back and side as well as a cut on his upper lip and above the right eye. The child was immediately transferred to Children's Hospital.

Police were called to the hospital. Officers later questioned Dalton who admitted what he had done.

FOX19 went to the Dalton's house and tried to speak with the family. A car was parked outside, but no one answered the door.

Neighbors who've known Dalton for years said he always seemed to be a loving father.

"He's so protective," said Alberta Kirklin, who has lived across the street from Dalton for at least a decade. "Not just his kids, but the kids in the neighborhood. He watches out for these little children. We have a couple little kids down the street here and they run out into the streets. David will tell them, you've got to be careful."

Police do not believe Dalton's wife knew about the abuse. Meantime, the couple's two children, a seven month old and a three year old, have been removed from his residence and placed with a family member.

Dalton is in the Hamilton County Justice Center on a $100,000 bond.

Police said the toddler is still at Children's Hospital. Officers said his parents are now by his side. The child soon will be transferred to Shriners Hospitals for Children- Cincinnati. The boy is facing weeks of skin grafts.

The case is expected to head to a Grand Jury next week. Police said Dalton could face additional charges at that time.

Copyright 2010 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.