A Florida man is accused of using a lighter to burn smiley faces into the flesh of three children he was supposed to be watching after.
Joshua Mize, 21, of St. Petersburg, was arrested on Tuesday night after the children, aged 5, 8, and 10, told police that he held them down to burn "smileys” on their skin with a lighter, according to WTSP in Tampa.
Police said the burning has caused permanent scarring on the two of the three children, who are being described as young boys, according to WTSP.
Police say Mize burned the oldest victim on his left leg slightly above the knee. Investigators found burns on the 8-year-old’s right shoulder. The 5-year-old suffered burns to his right knee, according to WFTS. Police said they noticed three separate burn marks on each boy: two dots for the eyes and a third U-shaped mark for a mouth, according to FOX 13 in Tampa.
The relationship between Mize and his alleged victims is unclear.
He faces three counts of aggravated child abuse with great bodily harm.
The alleged bad babysitter being held at the Pinellas County Jail under a $450,000 bond. He does not appear to have any previous criminal records.
People have swarmed to his Facebook page to condemn him for his alleged actions.
It’s not clear if Mize has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf.
[Photo: St. Petersburg Police Department]