Phoenix PD: Parents force 6-year-old to stand outside barefoot causing severe burns

Posted at 12:28 PM, Jul 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-29 22:00:53-04

Court records show that a 6-year-old boy was severely burned on his feet and had multiple bruises on his body after being punished by his father. 

Police report that on July 12, they were called to The Arizona Burn Center at Maricopa Medical Center to check on a 6-year-old who had been brought in with severe burns.  

The boy's father, Mark Simmons, was interviewed by police and reportedly admitted to "taking the boy outside and making him stand barefoot on the ground in the backyard as punishment."

The boy was made to stand there for about ten minutes.

Simmons also allegedly admitted to using a belt on the boy that caused bruising. 

The boy's stepmother, Sarah Simmons, allegedly cut the boy's blistered skin and told him that "if he didn't stop crying, he would go back outside and burn worse."

Police records reveal the woman did clean the boy's wounds and also sprayed medication on them before bandaging his feet.

Neighbors in the area were horrified to hear about the crime.

One neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said she was not surprised.

"I always see the kids out there by themselves. My kids have offered them water bottles when they come home from school. The parents don't open the door right away. We've tried to bring them in our house before," said the woman.

She called the allegations heartbreaking.

"As a mother and homeowner, we don't need that riffraff in our community. Those children don't need to be in the care of somebody like that. They're animals. They're pigs.  Absolutely disgusting, this makes me sick," said the neighbor.

Another neighbor said she hoped authorities would throw the book at them.

"Yeah, they should be put in jail because no kid deserves that. It's awful."

Sarah Simmons was arrested on July 28 at her home near 37th Street and Broadway Road.

According to police, the woman told them that she was afraid to tell police for fear of having her children taken away due to former Arizona Department of Child Safety involvement in her life.

Stay with ABC15 as we try to determine the status of Mark Simmons and other details.