Officers arrested a Pleasant Grove man for child abuse after a 2-year-old boy was transported to the emergency room with severe burns on his face and back.

Tyler Joseph Willett, 28, was booked into the Utah County Jail on suspicion of child abuse with serious physical injury, a third-degree felony.

According to a police report, Willett was babysitting a 2-year-old child at an apartment in Springville on Sept. 5 while the child’s mother went to work.

Later in the day, she reportedly received a call from Willett who said the boy was injured. The mother came home and found her son had severe burns on the majority of his back, neck and face, police reported.

“The burns were severe enough to make the skin peel, and cause need for the child to be transferred from the Utah Valley Hospital to the Burn Unit at the University Of Utah Hospital,” the report stated.

In interviews with police, Willett reportedly said he was alone with the boy and noticed the child was overheating. He said he bathed the toddler and noticed the child’s skin was peeling.

Willett reportedly said he did not know how the injury occurred but said it may have happened while he rinsed the toddler with water. He also said the burns might have come from a chemical, but did not explain, police reported.

But hospital doctors stated that due to the location of the burns, it appears the child was “held over the water, then dipped, causing burns to his back, neck and sides of his head but not his legs,” police reports state.

“I informed Willett of my conversation with the doctor and asked if he could clarify how the burns occurred. Willett did not provide any additional information,” according to the officer with the Springville Police Department.

The police report also stated Willett has a criminal history related to abuse or neglect of a child. He is being held on a $25,000 bond.

Ashley Stilson covers crime, courts and breaking news for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at 801-344-2556 or astilson@heraldextra.com.

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