New Orleans police on Monday arrested a man accused of forcing a 10-year-old boy into a hot clothes dryer as punishment for forgetting to turn in documents at school, according to an arrest warrant.
An official at Lawrence Crocker College Preparatory School discovered the child's burns on Oct. 29, the warrant says.
The boy told the school official that he had been whipped with a belt and put into a hot clothes dryer by Robert Smith, 34, according to the warrant. The boy's mother had been admitted to a hospital, so the boy was left in Smith's care in a house in the 2900 block of Feliciana Street, police said.
The school official reported the alleged abuse to the state Department of Children and Family Services.
NOPD Child Abuse Detective Tyra Pruitt interviewed the child on Dec. 5. The boy told her that Smith hit him with a belt, kicked him in the chest and put him in the dryer along with some clothes. Pruitt wrote in the warrant that photographs of the child's burns showed they were "circular and consistent in size with the air ventilation screen located inside the dryer."
Smith was booked on one count of cruelty to a juvenile. His bond was set at $50,000, records show.