Phoenix police arrest mother and boyfriend after her baby was seen covered with bite marks

PHOENIX - A Phoenix mother and her boyfriend were arrested Monday on suspicion of child abuse after her baby was seen covered with bite marks, according to the Phoenix Police Department.

On Monday, a homeless couple was seen arguing outside a Phoenix library near 35th Avenue and Thomas Road when staff workers noticed the baby with the couple was covered with bite marks. The library workers called the police.

Police said the mother, Alyssa Sjothun, stated that she did not inflict the injuries, but that she was aware of the marks. She said she began to notice her baby's injuries in July, but failed to notify authorities. She said she did not report the abuse because she "stuck dealing with everything that is going on."

The boyfriend, Malcolm Dotson, admitted to biting the child out of anger in one situation and biting him to make him go to sleep in another. He also said that he bit the baby again in July because he would not stop crying while they were at the airport, according to police.

Dotson said the baby's mouth was also injured while the couple and the baby were inside a public restroom near 35th Avenue and Indian School Road. Police said the baby was propped up on the floor between his stroller and a garbage can when he fell over, catching his mouth under the stroller wheel and cutting it open.

Police said that the baby's cheek was also injured under Dotson's care. Dotson said while they were staying at a motel, the baby rolled off the bed and gashed his check open on a metal part of the bed.

Dotson added that Sjothun also bit the baby's forehead in August while they were staying at the airport. According to police, he said both he and Sjothun were under the influence of marijuana and spice.

Police said that the baby had distinct human bite marks all over his body and that he also suffered significant injuries to his mouth and lips.

Both Sjothun and Dotson are in custody on suspicion of child abuse and failure to protect.

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