Originally created 08/11/01

Man faces charges in burning of toddler



A toddler was in serious condition at Doctors Hospital on Friday with third-degree burns that police say came from being placed in a tub of scalding water by her mother's boyfriend.

Ziyanna White, 2, was taken to the hospital early Friday morning with severe burns from the scalding and injuries she received from being beaten with a belt Thursday night, according to officers' oral and written reports.

Anthony Maurice Harris, the live-in boyfriend of Ziyanna's mother, was in the Richmond County jail on charges of first-degree cruelty to children, according to an incident report.

Officer Darryl Adams stated he received a call to the Piedmont Drive address around midnight Thursday. When he arrived, Rural/Metro medics were already there working with Ziyanna.

Mr. Harris, 22, of the 1900 block of Piedmont Drive, first told Officer Adams he had checked on the child around 9 p.m., found her asleep and then went to sleep himself, only to later be awakened by a booming sound and screaming. He said he found the little girl in the bathroom with a bloody nose crying and saying that her feet hurt, the report stated.

Mr. Harris said he noticed the bathtub was half full of hot water and that the child had defecated in the toilet and on her bedroom floor. He said he then called 911;Ziyanna's mother, Florris White, 25, who was at work; and his aunt.

Richmond County Sheriff's Office Lt. Jack Francisco said Friday the child suffered third-degree burns on both legs and buttocks, abrasions on her face and thigh consistent with a belt mark, and a bloody nose.

Mr. Harris gave various accounts of what happened, but from what police could determine, he had disciplined Ziyanna earlier that evening. Based on the "totality of evidence," officers determined he had put her in the scalding water, Lt. Francisco said.

Reach Brandon Haddock at (706) 823-3409 or bhaddock@augustachronicle.com.