homepage logo

Nashua man arrested after child in his care is scalded in hot shower, hospitalized in Boston

By Dean Shalhoup - Senior Staff Reporter | Sep 18, 2020

Caleb Marquis, 28, of 15A Beech St., Nashua

NASHUA – An emotional arraignment and bail hearing Thursday for the 28-year-old man accused of leaving an 18-month-old child unattended in a shower that suddenly turned hot and scalded his face and left side of his body concluded with a preventive detention order.

Caleb Marquis, of 15A Beech St., told police in a post-arrest interview that he was caring for the child, who is the son of friends, when he put the boy in the shower while the child “screamed for an undetermined amount of time,” according to police reports.

The reports quote Marquis as telling police that when he heard the dog start barking, he left the bathroom “for approximately 30 seconds,” allegedly leaving the child unattended.

When he returned, Marquis told police, he found the boy unconscious, “hot to the touch,” and lying on his back “while water was still coming out of the shower head.”

He wrapped the boy in a towel, placed him in front of an air conditioner, according to police, but when that “didn’t have the desired effect,” Marquis told police he took the boy to a next-door neighbor’s house for help.

The neighbor called emergency services “and began to revive” the child, police said.

Marquis, at Thursday’s bail hearing, sobbed through much of the proceeding. Present were the child’s parents and other family members of both her and Marquis.

Judge Charles Temple, after hearing from the lawyers, granted the state’s recommendation for preventive detention. The bail order prohibits Marquis from having any contact with the child and from going to the Beech Street residence.

Temple wrote that an evidentiary hearing will be scheduled for Marquis by the court clerk.

The charges Marquis faces include one count each of second-degree assault – bodily injury, victim under age 13, a Class B felony; and endangering the welfare of a child and reckless conduct, both Class A misdemeanors.

They accuse Marquis of “preventing the boy from getting out of a hot shower, resulting in second-degree burns and blistering across his body,” violating his duty of care by allegedly leaving the boy in the shower with hot water “while he smoked marijuana in the immediate area,” and with placing the boy in danger of serious bodily injury by allegedly leaving him in “a scalding hot shower by himself for undetermined amount of time,” according to the complaints.

Police said they were notified of the incident by emergency medical personnel, who initially transported the boy to Southern New Hampshire Medical Center. He was later transported to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Police said while the boy was at the Nashua hospital, the nurse who examined him reported “injuries consistent with a burn to the forehead, the right and left side of his face, burns to the left side of his body, and a potential bruise on his chin,” the reports state.

Police wrote that after evaluating the boy, hospital staff arranged for the boy to be transported to Boston.

Doctors there also discovered petechiae – injured or ruptured capillaries – on the boy’s chest and neck, “presumably from intense coughing,” the reports state.

The examination also included a blood draw, according to the reports. Police said a Mass General doctor called detectives to inform them that the blood test showed the boy had THC – the main mind-altering ingredient in marijuana – in his system.

In speaking with police, meanwhile, Marquis allegedly admitted to smoking marijuana in the bathroom while the boy was in the shower.

“He repeatedly stated he was not paying attention to (the boy) and was not thinking about what was best” for him,” police wrote.

During the interview, police said Marquis allegedly admitted he “should have checked the water temperature, should have regularly checked on the boy and should not have been smoking marijuana in his presence,” the reports state.

He also told police, according to the reports, that he “was unaware of how long the shower actually was, because he lost track of time due to smoking marijuana.”

Dean Shalhoup may be reached at 594-1256 or dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com.


Join thousands already receiving our daily newsletter.

Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *