Charges: Man Burned Girlfriend’s Son In Bathtub

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 31-year-old Brooklyn Center man is accused of burning his girlfriend’s son with a bathtub of hot water after he wet himself, according to charges filed Monday in Hennepin County District Court.

Tong Vang was charged with first-degree assault, third-degree assault and malicious punishment of a child in connection with the incident.

According to a criminal complaint, Brooklyn Center Police were called to Hennepin County Medical Center at about 7:16 p.m. on July 14 about possible child abuse involving a 3-year-old boy. When officers arrived, they learned that the boy’s mother brought him to Children’s Hospital for second and third-degree burns over 20 percent of his body.

The boy was badly burned on his abdomen, flank, genital area, thighs and lower extremities and also had bruising on his right eye, right jaw, right ear, left eye, left chin and both arms.

The woman told police that Tong Vang, her boyfriend, was taking care of the boy while she was working on July 14. The complaint states Vang called his girlfriend at about 2 p.m. to tell her that the boy had been burned while he was in the bathtub and that his skin was peeling off.

When she came home, Vang told her he put the boy there after he had wet his pants and left him there alone with the water off while he went to get his cell phone. Vang told the woman that the boy turned the water on and burned himself. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office measured the water and determined it was about 159 degrees.

Two days later, authorities learned Vang had tried to commit suicide and was in the hospital. He told a nurse there that “I intentionally burned my girlfriend’s kid and I need to confess to the police.”

Vang is not currently in custody but faces up to 35 years in prison and/or $60,000 in fines if convicted.


    Light him up and watch him burn like a human candle!!!!!!

  • Admin. of Chafin' Totz

    Any relation to the other hamocidal Vang we all know too well?

    • just saying

      what the hell does “hamocidal” mean?

  • Bruce & Les Johnson

    He’s Not in Custody??????

    • youwantricewithtaht

      The Architect has risen. vang needs to be fried like an eggroll.

      • Sharon

        Stop being racist you ignorant jerk. But i do think hes guilty.

  • nate

    String him up and plunge him into a vat of boiling water…none of this cozy prison cell or expensive-car’s-worth fine business. Eye for an eye is only fair. One could go a step further though and I’m sure many people would. At the very least use the boyfriend’s skin for the child’s skin grafts since the boy will most definately need them. It’s one thing to discipline a child for doing something wrong but to go anywhere near that extreme for an accident? I can only hope the boy makes it through with as little permanent trauma as possible.

  • melissa

    Why was he not charged with attempted murder? A child that young can die from severe burns. Makes me sick to my stomach.

  • rj

    Urinate in his face and rinse it off off with boiling water

  • Sarah in Outstate MN

    I have 3 boys and all of them had accidents well after being potty trained. If this so-called “man” asked his parents I can bet he had accidents too. He punished a 3 year old child for something that happens to 3 year old children *all the time*.

  • jimmy lo

    this is bull. hes my friend. i hope i get to speak when on the day of trial on sept. 1, 2011

    • Sarah in Outstate MN

      @jimmy lo, he’s confessed, you dolt. He’s horribly burned a child to the point where his skin was coming off. Besides, no water heater is normally set to this high temperture which means he could have intentionally set it higher to inflict more harm to a child because the child had an accident.

      There is *always* some friend or family member on these boards defending these dolts. If the situation weren’t so serious it would almost be a joke. “My friend/cousin/coworker/whomever is a great person and would never do this”.

      You are the one full of bull.

      • msl

        Pathetic how the media makes every person they cover, regardless of race (for you seriously racist ppl out there), into a monster when I’m sure if you ask the right questions it would be otherwise. How many times have young children switched the water temp by playing with the knob? Countless times! Let’s assume that while Tong Vang went out to get his phone, leaving the child unsupervised (tsk tsk, I can’t agree with this), he turned the knob unfortunately to hot. How in the world can you convict someone for that? Take every parent out there to jail who has allowed their child to turn the knob to hot AND cold! On a side note, I can safely say there was no communication to the mother OR to Tong Vang in regards to the injured child when any accusations were being made. You parents out there imagine yourselves bringing a child into the hospital because your child was accidentally injured by your hands (I know there are plenty of you out there!) and all of a sudden you are being questioned by the police for child abuse. You don’t stand a chance and the media will start ripping you apart, and people will begin to comment things like “fry him like an eggroll!” and “you dolt” without thinking twice about the entire story and not just half. And for you ppl out their clinging onto the “confession”, well I’ll believe it when I hear it and not from “a nurse” that someone typed out. I’m sure you would do the same if it came to someone you knew or loved.

        • NOEXCUSES

          Maybe you should read the article again. Just in case you missed it I will repost it for you.
          Two days later, authorities learned Vang had tried to commit suicide and was in the hospital. He told a nurse there that “I intentionally burned my girlfriend’s kid and I need to confess to the police.”

          • miles

            thats is the report from news not from police u idiot!

          • msl

            Really? You give me the nurse’s name and number since this article obviously didn’t. I have no right to question the legitimacy of this claim?! I can make up all the scenarios and ask all the questions I want if it regards someone I know and love. How about you, huh? Since when in American is someone not allowed to instigate the truth from the media and justice system? You’re crazy if you think the tables won’t be turned on you. And it is absolutely INEXCUSABLE for someone to believe everything they read from the media. Good luck with THAT.

            • NO EXCUSES

              You obviously don’t use your brain too often. He has already been charged with with first-degree assault, third-degree assault and malicious punishment of a child. Which means the police have enough evidence to charge him, his confession was probably part of that. If it was an innocent thing, they wouldn’t have been so quick to charge him. I also don’t understand why you are even trying to defend this loser, when a child was seriously hurt. But if you need to justify your response so you can sleep at night, then so be it.

              • msl

                I sleep fitfully at night because I see things like this everywhere and nothing is being done about it let alone someone speaking out against it. Granted, majority of the people who are convicted have committed their crimes. But when you have cause to believe that a man is innocent, will you not fight for the truth? I have taken into consideration the information THIS article has offered and combined it with information from the family and gf. There are so many unanswered questions and factors left unchecked. Just because they have higher authority doesn’t mean they’re always right. Someone tells you you’re guilty because all the signs LOOK like you did it. Well, if you’re one to stand by and submit to that, then so be you. As for the confession, I stand by what I said. And I’m not able to measure the usage of my brain, I don’t know how you can.

              • Michael C

                If police have enough evidence to convict this man, then why are they hiding it from the family? No, he never “confessed” to it. This article fails to say that he went to get his cell phone, and back to find the hot water on.

      • msl

        Oh, and sarah in outstate MN, I had originally typed a comment out to you but it never made it so I’ll summarize it. I think we should use a new word and direct it towards narrow minded folks who breathe in everything the media posts (I bet even if it was about your OWN family and friends, haha) without knowing all the facts, and for looking down upon the love, support, and consideration of another’s family and friends which you will never have according to your comment, and this new word shall be …. dumb. Feel free to use whatever other adjectives you think fit best. I’ll just refrain from using mine to make this a little more civil. But PLEASE email me the day you find yourself reading a post about your family and friends or even yourself, so that I may enlighten the people you love how Sarah in Outstate MN is so full of bull.

        • Q bert

          HEY MSG SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • msl

            I know you tell MSG to shut up! Whoever that is. :)

            • EGGROLL

              YOU ARE MSG AND ARE FULL OF IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              • msl

                I am most definitely not MSG and I am not full of anything because I haven’t eaten yet. You are misguided. :D

      • miles

        you dont know the guy shut up….he’s my friend too.i dont think that he can do that to a kid,i spoke to his girlfriend and she said its not true so…dont jump to a conclusion!

        • em0886

          My question is then why were there bruises on this little boy….has everyone forgotten about that?! I am sorry but regardless of if the child did it himself, you would think the man would have gotten him out right away because he would have been screaming and crying in pain….maybe we do need more details but I think in the end the truth will surface and this man will go to prison….of course when you are the friends and family of someone that is being accused of this you don’t want to believe it’s true and of course will defend him but let’s look at facts….

          • msl

            I DO know this story, from many different perspectives. Even from the man himself. He removed him right away when he returned to find the child in that state. If you’ve read my previous comments, I stated that the man accused left the child unattended (which I don’t agree with but it happened) to retrieve his phone from the car. After he saw what happened, he called the mother. After being burned like that I don’t think he knew how bad it was until the skin started peeling. I am not a nurse and neither is he. I wouldn’t have known what to do either. But he even went to buy some first aid for him before picking up the child’s mother and going to the hospital. IT WAS AN ACCIDENT! It was careless but an accident nonetheless! Why do you think I am even on here?! I would not try and defend someone who doesn’t deserve it! But Tong Vang had no intention of burning this child! And I won’t see an innocent man go to jail for not knowing the necessary steps to take in situations like that! I agree that the child should never have gone through that and it could have been avoided. I am so sorry for what happened to him. I pray for his complete healing. But now I am fighting so that Tong’s life won’t end this way. You really want justice?! Charge those who have committed their crimes intentionally! Everything written in this article is out of context! It is written so that you will THINK Tong did this to that child. But it’s missing the truth. I implore you to open your minds and hearts and understand. The healing of the child’s body is already in motion by God, and now Tong’s life is at stake.

      • Michael C.

        Please Sarah, don’t yip yap none sense like you know the whole story. This article is far from proving this man’s guilt. Young children’s skin are far more sensitive than adults, obviously the damage is going to be far greater. Where is the evidence that this man intentionally burned this child, or even hit this child? According to the mother, detective Mike johnson told the her, her son had a fractured skull. But when she later asked the doctor, she was told her son NEVER had a fractured skull. How can a doctor tell two people two different things? The mother has been requesting to see her son and any proof of her fiance’s quilt, but the police has been hiding everyting from her. They also met up with detective Becker, who also questioned them. When they were to meet again, she said she would gone for 30 min, but she was gone for 3 hours, using those time to search their home. According to the mother, Social worker Cindy and detective Becker stated to her that their way of society is way superior than the Hmong culture. BUT there is nothing cultural about this. This is a universal problem. For them to even bring it up out of the blue means they are up to something. If this is true, this is a case of discriminayltion.

        And no, I am not related or friends with them, nor do I know them. I just did my research like everyone should.

        • msl

          Sorry, I accidentally reported your comment. I meant to click the reply button. But THANK YOU! I wasn’t sure if I should have disclosed any detailed information but you’ve opened that doorway for me. I KNOW Tong Vang and his girlfriend. I am not one to assume that race or discrimination has anything to do with it until I hear the facts. And lately, several facts have been popping up all over the place about authorities making comments they really shouldn’t be making, some racial and cultural. I swear, Minnesota has been having several issues between the Hmong community and everyone else. I will not choose a side on that issue because I believe it’s all stupid and immature. If this case is being pursued based on race or culture, I will see it to the very end. It is WRONG to fight this racial battle with a man’s life. I have also heard from Tong’s girlfriend that the confession is FALSE! Why I can’t hear it from Tong, because he is in jail, people! She stated that Tong became very agitated with the nurse and broke a window. That that may be the cause for her to say something untrue. And his friend says Tong is very unlikely to even use the word “intentionally”. That’s not facts, but I thought it was pretty funny considering that one would know how their friends are. There may be some of you out there thinking, “well if it was an accident then he should have done this and done that.” or the gf should have done this and that. But reality is, that’s what YOU’VE would have done and everyone is different. And we can all go about saying things could have happened differently, but they didn’t. Now all we can do is change the future and save this man’s life.

        • 0.0

          How do you know that the social worker and the detective said that their way was more superior than the Hmong culture? From researching on tongs trial page on facebook? That is his girlfriends side of the story. I know his girlfriend pretty well and shes a compulsive liar. I’ll admit I dont know Tong so im not going to judge him. All I and everyone else want is the truth for her son.

  • em0886

    What’s bull about it?? He confessed; there’s no justification for what he did, this poor baby suffered greatly just because he wet himself…I don’t understand what is wrong with people. This article almost brought me to tears…it made me angry and sad. Not really sure what you think you could possibly say at his trial that would make this ok…

    • Micael C

      Where in the article did it state he “confessed”?

  • just asking

    Who in their right mind would have their hot water heater set so high???

    I couldn’t imagine what the temperature was at the point of contact, from the time someone measured the temperature of the water…

    • Allison Q

      If the water was accidentally set that high it should be an easIER case for the defense to prove the burning was accidental but the bruising all over his face and head from falling, thats going to be tougher to prove.

  • P

    What a POS this guy! Word to all guys dating girls with kids. If you don’t like other people’s kids. Don’t date women with kids.

  • Renee

    when are these women going to learn! They are out working and they have some LOSER watching their kids!! You read about this kind of stuff way too much.

  • MILO

    Why would there be bruising on his right eye, right jaw, right ear, left eye, left chin and both arms if it was a 1 time accident involving hot water+bathtub UNLESS he was being abused before?

    • em0886

      Thank you for paying attention to those details as I did!! If these bruises were from playing…which they clearly are not….he would have them on his little shins and knees like most kids do from falling down and just playing rough…maybe even his arms…but on his face?! I am calling bulls**t on the fact that the kid did this to himself and that these were just normal bruises.

    • Michael C

      If this man is abusive, wouldn’t his wife have known? And wouldn’t his sister, who lived with them, have told the police? And speaking from experience, yes a lot could have happened from the time this man went to get his cell phone in his car and back. When I was four, I was showering with my brothers. When went to make the water cooler, I accidently turned on the hot water instead. In panic, I scrambled to get up and get out of the tub because I was sitting. When I tried to do so, I slipped and fell on my knee and gave myself a big bruise.

      The question is, why is the police not telling the family anything? Instead of accusing this man for intentionally abuse this child, what about ask the child?

      • KDP

        Are you a social worker? Do you work with abused children often or have you ever?
        I am going to assume, NO. Because if you did, you would know that asking the child isn’t always the best approach.
        Children often try to cover any abuse that is going on because of fear, fear of the abuse getting worse, fear of what will happen to them, fear of many things.
        The police and the appropriate people need to investigate this case and use the evidence to make a decision on what happened and if there is or was any abuse.
        If the child was older, perhaps then they would question the child and take that into consideration.

        • msl

          They’ve already arrested Tong and charged him on four accounts. The only evidence presented are the temperature of the water and the injuries to the child which the mother of the child has explained countless times to the authorities. It’s like being framed. Just because it LOOKS like you could have done it, doesn’t mean that you did. And it is especially true in this case.

        • Michael C

          Does a title really qualifies a person’s knowledge?I’m not a social worker, but I’ve babyset my youngest siblings and cousins, I know that kids never lie, and if they did, they’d eventually admitt to it. But still, this doesn’t prove anything. Like I said, if he was abusive, the mother and sister would have known. And there would have been bruises on them as well. A person doesn’t just pick and chose who to abuse if he’s abusive. Also considering the fact that this man went outside to get his phone, a lot could have happened.

          • KDP

            Actually yes the title social worker does have more knowledge about these types of situations. Going to college and also dealing with abused children on a daily bases, social workers have WAY more knowledge than some random person that has “babysat” siblings and cousins.
            You can’t base your opinion on watching a few kids, especially those who haven’t been abused.
            Wait until you have dealt with hundreds if not thousands of abused/neglected children then you can have an accurate opinion.

  • stupid

    this story isnt even accurrate…i would know what really happened…NATHAN burned himself accidently turning on the hot faucet water because he is left handed and very naughty boy..and he slipped in the bathtub injuring his head…and nathan had bruises on his body even before the incident…tong did not even touch the boy…people these days try to comeup with stupid stories…waste my time

    • Luna

      Stupid if you didn’t want to waste your time then you shouldn’t have posted that pathetic post. It sounds like Stupid knows a lot about this case. Its ridiculous that you can blame this innocent child. People like TONG come up with the stupidest stories, except for the part when he confessed to burning the child on purpose. Get it in your brain Stupid that tong hurt that child and stop living in denial. If Tongs girlfriend is on his side then she also needs to be charged with endangering her child. “Nathan” needs to be in a safe and happy environment and far away from people like Tong.

      • Sad story

        I agree with everything you said. He will get his day in trial just like everyone else and lets hope the truth and the evidence come out.

      • msl

        I think it’s soo funny how you said, “People like TONG come up with the stupidest stories, except for the part when he confessed to burning the child on purpose.” You only credit what YOU want to hear. How ignorant and much expected from someone who knows next to nothing about this case. Although I’ll concede that the child is not to blame, I encourage you to go and defend an ACTUAL child abuse case where the accused is truly guilty. Good day to you!

        • Factoids

          If that is the case, we look to the story for any more information. I would agree with Luna on this one, based on the information present. Things that you can question are; How long does it take for water to get up to that temp? If the water is at 159 degrees F. getting those kinds of burns don’t just happen in seconds, its minutes and not just a couple. Why would one try to commit suicide? It would only confirm what is accused. If you believe you are right, one should fight for what is right.

          • msl

            The water CAN turn fatally hot in a matter of seconds. That has happened to me before. And to my understanding, the man was already going through some difficult times in his life. Suicide was probably already on his mind BEFORE he got arrested or was charged. But yes, asking questions does help everyone to understand the situation better.

    • em0886

      why is he a very naughty boy….hes three years old!!

    • em0886

      Were you there or something?! You seem to know quite a bit….why don’t you reveal who you are then….

      • M.i.a.

        I agree. Stupid and msl know a lot of details about this case that is not provided in this article.
        Like any case there are always two sides of the story and you cant just believe one side because you know they guy.There are many cases out there where a parent or a guardian has harmed a child and everyone close to the accused cannot believe he or she could have done it but it happens. If there’s evidence to prove that he did it then there is. The only one who knows the truth is the child but im sure the trauma that he has endured is to painful to repeat again. Lets hope if the child goes back to his mother that he is not punished for this ordeal. There are many mothers out there who love their boyfriends than they do their own child. He (the son) will be in my prayers.

        • msl

          No, you can’t believe just one side of the story. There is just no hard evidence that proves Tong abused the child. There are possibilities that the child sustained the injuries from another source. And they can’t prove that Tong purposely burned the child. There are several cases like this out there. I was one of them too when I was a child. But without real evidence that points to Tong, they should not have arrested him. If I knew with real facts that Tong did this intentionally, whether I know him or not, I would not condone it. But I do appreciate your compassion towards the child.

          • D.L.E.

            If theres no evidence then tongs defense shouldnt have anything to worry about.

  • D

    Knowing Tong, he wouldn’t use the word ‘intentionally’ which was quoted in what he supposedly said.

  • msl

    And where in the world can I find the author to this article?

  • msl
  • flva

    Tong is not guilty….get the DAMN story right. People jump to conclusions too fast. Get to the know the guy before you judge.

  • O

    Fry him!!

  • 512011404


  • 9764005321

    Heard it and i dont buy it. lets just wait until sept 1 to see what happens to him.

  • SoWhat

    Thank you!!!! The media can be so cruel… They turn a innocent person into a monster. You never get the full details until you do ask the right questions or you know the person. Kids plays with the knobs all the time. You just never know what’s going to happen within the second of leaving the room. I have a 3 year old and when you’re trying to take care of a injured knee or what so ever they scream and yell like it’s the end of the world. This whole case is base on racism. It can happen to anyone.

    One other thing. I know Tong and I know the story.. and one thing I can tell you is that this story does not relate to the story I’ve heard from his family. Also Tong is a wonderful loving man. He comes to visit and my kids loves him.

    To All The Other People On Here With Your Remarks: It’s easy to put others down when it’s not you but wait until you take your kid in due to playing with hot water and society accuse you of CHILD ABUSE cause the media has turned you into a monster..Until then have a good day.

  • Lee Pham

    So what ended up happening, since some of you are so close to this guy?

  • 202 Minnesota Child Deaths Examined (over half were under three & shaken or beaten to death) | INVISIBLE CHILDREN

    […] Charges: Man Burned Girlfriend’s Son In Bathtub « CBS Minnesota…/charges-man-burned-girlfriend’s-so… […]

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