A Tamarac man has been arrested on charges he abused a child by burning him with a cigarette lighter, hitting him with an electrical cord and holding his head under water, authorities say.
Wednesday, Broward County Judge John “Jay” Hurley ordered Edwin Mercado-Comacho, 29, to keep away from the 10-year-old boy, who is the son of Mercado-Comacho’s girlfriend.
“Sir, the court believes that you represent an extreme danger to this young man,” Hurley told Mercado-Comacho. “This isn’t an isolated incident. This looks like ongoing child abuse. And it looks like it’s gratuitous. It looks like you’re doing it for whatever reason. The court can’t see why.”
Mercado-Comacho was arrested Tuesday on two counts of cruelty toward a child/aggravated battery on a child, and three counts of cruelty toward a child/child abuse causing great bodily harm, authorities said.
The child-abuse investigation began when the boy showed up for elementary school with a bruise that extended from his left eye to his left ear, said Hurley, reading from a Broward sheriff’s report.
The boy told a teacher the reason for the bruise: Mercado-Comacho hit him because the boy had lost his hamster, Hurley said.
The boy was taken to a facility, where a nurse examined him and found scars on his lower back and a burn on his lower abdomen, Hurley said. The scars were the result of the boy being hit with an electric cord and from being burned with the cigarette lighter, Hurley said.
The boy told sheriff’s detectives that Mercado-Comacho hit him regularly with his hands, usually for no reason, Hurley said.
“It says that on occasion, the boy said you would place your hands around his throat and choke him,” said Hurley, citing a sheriff’s report.
Mercado-Comacho also allegedly held the boy’s head under water and choked and gagged the boy while the boy was taking baths, Hurley said.
The new arrest was considered a violation of Mercado-Comacho's bond on an unrelated possession of cannabis case, so Hurley revoked the bond in the cannabis case. Wednesday night, Mercado-Comacho remained jailed without bond, records show.