Florida man burns ‘smiley faces’ onto flesh of children in his care: Police

A Florida man is facing multiple counts of child abuse after he allegedly used a lighter to burn the shape of smiley faces onto the skin of three young children.

ABC Action News reports that Joshua Mize, 21, was arrested on Tuesday night in St. Petersburg after he allegedly burned the children with a lighter.

According to an arrest affidavit obtained by the news station, three children, ages 5, 8, and 10, told police that Maze had used a lighter to burn “smileys” on their bodies. He allegedly burned two dots with a “U” shape below onto their skin.

The three children reportedly had burns on their bodies consistent with the claims they made to police.

Mize was reportedly caring for the children at the time of the alleged crime, but his relationship to them is not yet known.

People magazine reports that the criminal affidavit that was previously made available to news outlets has since been sealed. 

The suspect is being held on $450,000 bail at the Pinellas County Jail.