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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, January 28, 2006

Man charged with burning kids' hands

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

A 33-year-old Wahiawa man was charged yesterday with two counts of second-degree assault for allegedly holding the hands of two children to a hot stove.

Luis Morales-Pagan of Lakeview Drive was being held yesterday on $30,000 bail. If convicted, he would face a maximum of five years in prison on each count.

The victims, identified in a court document as MoralesPagan's daughters, ages 4 and 6, suffered burns to their hands.

Police began an investigation on Jan. 13 after a teacher at Ka'ala Elementary School noticed that a student had burns on her hand. The girl, 6, told the teacher that her father had "grabbed her hand and placed it on top of the stove," according to an affidavit filed in support of Morales-Pagan's arrest.

The girl told police that her father was upset because she had used her mother's nail polish and spilled it on a DVD player, the affidavit said. She said her father then grabbed her wrist and "tapped her hand three times on the stove," the affidavit said.

A doctor examined the burns and told police that the blister patterns were consistent with a contact burn against a coiled surface, the affidavit said.

On Jan. 17, Morales-Pagan turned himself in at the Wahiawa police station for investigation of abuse of a family and household member. But police noticed that his younger daughter had a similar burn pattern on her left palm and he was booked on another count, police said.

The younger girl told police that her hand was "tapped" on the stove top four times because she had "touched her mommy's stuff," the affidavit said.

Morales-Pagan was released pending further investigation, but was arrested on the assault charges Thursday.

Reach Curtis Lum at culum@honoluluadvertiser.com.