Man burns son for touching Bible

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CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Police in Chandler are investigating a bizarre case of child abuse in which a father says he burned his little boy's hand with a lighter because he believed the child was possessed.

Johnny Salazar, 25, was arrested on Sunday and charged with child abuse. He had been watching his two boys, ages 5 and 2, while their grandparents were at church.

"[Salazar] thought the 5-year-old was maybe ... possessed and he didn't want him touching the Bible," said Chandler Police Sgt. Joe Favazzo.

Favazzo said that's when Salazar got a lighter and burned the boy's wrist and hand. The boy suffered minor injuries and is expected to fully recover.

When Salazar's parents got home from church they noticed the burns and called police.

"It's a case of child abuse and we don't know if there was some illegal substance in [Salazar's] system that was creating this delusion ... or if he actually believe the child was possessed," Favazzo said.

He said officers confiscated a vile of a white, crystallized substance from the Flint Street home, but they are awaiting lab results to determine if it is an illegal drug.

Both boys are now staying with their mother in Casa Grande, according to police.