MAN charged in tot's chemical burns

Saturday, September 1st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ An 18-year-old man accused of burning a child while making methamphetamine has been charged with manufacturing a controlled dangerous substance and injury to a minor child.

David Wayne Russell was charged by prosecutors following his arrest on Friday. Court records allege that a 2-year-old child suffered chemical burns when a fire started while Russell was cooking methamphetamine at his sister's apartment on Aug. 17.

The child, who belongs to Russell's sister, was rushed by ambulance to Hillcrest Medical Center in Tulsa, where she was treated in the Pediatric Burn Unit.

Detective Liz Woollen said the child continues to receive medical treatment for the burns while she remains in protective custody. Police said the toddler suffered burns on her head, nose, stomach and legs.

Another child was home when the fire occurred but was not injured. That child also remains in protective custody, police said.

Russell's sister was home when authorities arrived at her apartment but she has not been charged, police said. David Russell had fled the scene.

Woollen said officers recovered chemicals from the apartment and other evidence that can be used to manufacture methamphetamine.

Police had been trying to locate Russell since the fire. ``He was a transient with no permanent address,'' Woolen said.

Additional charges may be pending in connection with stolen property Russell allegedly had in his possession at the time of his arrest, police said.

Woolen said child exposure to methamphetamine production is a growing problem.

``We see it more and more,'' Woolen said. In many cases ``the children are the innocent victims of their parents' drug use.''