GONZALES — Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputies arrested a Gonzales man Monday on a child cruelty count over allegations he did not care for his son’s burns for two months, allowing the wound to become infected.
Deputies found Joseph Babin, 30, at a home in Galvez on Monday after a two-month search, Sheriff’s Office Maj. Kevin Hanna said in a news release Wednesday.
In September, Babin’s 9-year-old son was taken to a hospital and treated for burns on his upper body. The youth had lit a “single popcorn kernel” with a lighter, which caused the kernel to pop and catch his shirt on fire, Hanna said.
The boy, who lived with Babin, was released from the hospital in October, but never showed up for follow-up appointments with his doctor, Hanna said.
Hospital employees tried to reach Babin, but after several unsuccessful attempts, they reported the case to the state Department of Children and Family Services. The Sheriff’s Office was also alerted.
On Dec. 10, the boy’s mother went to the father’s house to pick up the child for a visit and found the burns had become severely infected, Hanna said.
The mother took the boy to a hospital. Medical personnel determined the wound had not been cared for since the child was released from the hospital in October, Hanna said.
A judge approved an arrest warrant for Babin in December, but when sheriff’s deputies showed up at Babin’s home, he was not there.
Deputies said Babin’s permanent address is unknown and he is believed to have stayed at various locations.
The U.S. Marshal’s Service helped deputies find Babin at a house on Norwood Road in Ascension Parish on Monday, Hanna said.
Deputies said the child remained Wednesday in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services.
Babin remained in Ascension Parish Prison on Wednesday evening on a single count of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile, pending bail of $50,000.