By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

Police on Thursday arrested a Killeen woman, who is accused of burning a 3-year-old boy and causing other injuries to him, and her husband, who is suspected of not tending to the child's injuries.

Justice of the Peace Garland Potvin arraigned Natasha Renee Rider, 22, on a charge of injury to a child. Potvin set her bond at $150,000.

Potvin also arraigned Eric Brandon Rider, 21, of Killeen, on a charge of injury to a child by omission and set his bond at $100,000.

Killeen police responded Thursday to a call from Darnall Army Medical Center on Fort Hood regarding injuries that appeared to have been caused by child abuse, a Killeen Police Department news release stated.

A 3-year-old boy was bruised in numerous places on his face and body and had recently been burned on his buttocks, according to the arrest affidavit.

Police questioned the boy's parents, who said on June 8 that their son had pulled a tea kettle off the stove and then sat in the hot water. The Riders also said the bruises on the boy's face and body were either self-inflicted or caused by his 4-year-old stepbrother, the affidavit stated.

Police said that during questioning, Eric Rider told them that he did not think the injuries were serious enough for the child to need medical attention.

Doctors at Darnall said the boy's injuries did not match the description of the accident given by the boy's parents.

According to the affidavit, doctors did not believe the child would sit in hot water long enough to cause such severe burns. They also doubted that a 4-year-old could have caused such bruises.

Police later spoke with the child, who told them that Natasha burned him and that he told Eric about the burns, the affidavit stated.

Witnesses who had seen the victim at a June 9 party also spoke to police about the boy's burns and said the boy appeared to be wearing makeup.

When the witnesses asked Natasha and Eric why they had not taken their child to the hospital, the parents told them Child Protective Services had just gotten off their backs about the boy's broken arm, according to the affidavit.

The 3-year-old victim and his 4-year-old stepbrother are in the custody of Child Protective Services.

Contact Mason W. Canales at or call (254) 501-7554

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