Stepfather, mother charged after child was forced to kneel on uncooked rice, hold lit firework in mouth until it exploded

NAUGATUCK, Conn. — A mother and her husband are facing charges of child abuse after police said the stepfather made a child hold a lit firework in his mouth until it exploded, multiple news outlets are reporting.

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Police said Kevin Grant forced the boy to sleep in a locked laundry room for months, WFSB reported.

Police said Grant also made the boy drink hot sauce until he threw up and held a bottle rocket in his mouth until it blew up, WFSB reported.

The child’s face has a scar that a worker from the Department of Children and Families said came from the firework.

The child told the authorities that his mother, Kaitlin Elizabeth Baptiste, put medicine on the injuries to help them heal, The Hartford Courant reported.

Grant admitted that he did put the child in the laundry room as a punishment for being too rough with siblings.

The child told the worker that he was punished after a sibling “cracked his head open” while playing. The child said he had nothing to do with the injury.

He told the worker that Grant beat him with a belt and threw him across a room before making him sleep in a trailer one night, then in a garage for five nights before moving him into the laundry room, the Courant reported.

He said he had to sleep in the laundry room for four months, and was only allowed to leave the room when he knocked to use the bathroom, but Grant would yell at him, the newspaper reported.

Other alleged abuse included kneeling on rice for a day, doing pushups until he could not use his arms, and standing on a ladder step with tacks underneath, WFSB reported.

Police said Baptiste knew of the alleged abuse but did nothing to stop it.

UPDATE: Police released their arrest photos. -- JUST IN: Tacks and hot sauce weren't the only 'punishments' doled out by this couple, according to #Naugatuck police.

Posted by WFSB - Channel 3 Eyewitness News on Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Grant was charged with risk of injury to a child, assault, intentional cruelty to persons, disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment, WTNH reported.

Baptiste faces charges of risk of injury to a child, conspiracy to commit/intentional cruelty to persons, conspiracy to commit/disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment, WTNH reported.