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Police: father burned sons' hands as punishment

Police: father burned sons' hands as punishment

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SANDY — Twin 6-year-old boys remained hospitalized Monday after police say their father put their hands under scalding hot water as a form of discipline.

Mark Leavitt, 37, was arrested last week for investigation of two counts of felony child abuse, three counts of reckless child endangerment, domestic violence and three counts of domestic violence in the presence of children.

Thursday night, Sandy police were called to a report of domestic violence.

(One of the boy's hands was so swollen) it looked like he had a glove on.

–Sgt. John Arnold

They arrived to find the mother lying semi-conscious and semi-alert on the garage floor, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report and police.

While investigating that case, officers noticed twin 6-year-old boys each had one or both of their hands severely burned, said Sandy Police Sgt. John Arnold. One of the boys also had blood on his face, mouth, nose, legs and chest as if he had been punched in the nose, he said.

Their hands looked as if they had been placed under boiling water, according to jail documents detailing police observations. One boy was, "crying and waiving his hands around because it hurt him so bad," the report stated.

One of the boy's hands was so swollen, "it looked like he had a glove on," Arnold said.

Paramedics who responded to the scene told police one boy "could lose fingers" if he did not receive immediate treatment.

Upon further investigation, the officers learned the boys' father put their hands in hot sink water as a form of punishment. The twins were taken to the Intermountain Burn Unit.

A third child, an infant, was found to have a large oval-shaped burn mark below his right knee. Leavitt told police the twins were responsible, Arnold said, but the injury was not consistent with his explanation.

Leavitt's wife told police she was kicked and punched after she and Leavitt got into a fight over his alleged drunken driving, according to jail records. Her injuries were not life threatening.

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