Boys burned by suspected acid released from hospital

By Pat Reavy

    SMITHFIELD, UTAH (KSL) -- Smithfield Police Chief Travis Allen said he doesn't want to sugarcoat what happened.

"This, to me, is a pretty heinous crime and people need to know what's going on," he said Monday.

On Friday, Jason Keith Summers, 32, was arrested after walking to his neighbor's yard and throwing an unknown substance on two boys, ages 3 and 5. The substance was initially suspected to be sulphuric acid. The incident was recorded on a security camera.

The 5-year-old suffered burns on his upper back, Allen said. He was treated at a local hospital that night and later released. The 3-year-old had the substance thrown on his face, neck and upper chest area, the chief said.

The younger boy was treated at Logan Regional Hospital and later taken by his parents to the Intermountain Burn Center at University Hospital, Allen said. He has also since been released from the hospital.

A search warrant was served on Summers' home. The Bear River Health Department was unable to verify what substance was thrown on the children, but said it was consistent with something like a drain cleaner, according to Allen. The substance has been sent to the Utah State Crime Lab for analysis.

A possible motive for the attack was unknown Monday. Allen said Summers has refused to help investigators.

"He is not cooperating with law enforcement. He has invoked his Miranda rights and refuses to speak," he said.

The trouble allegedly caused by Summers didn't end when he was arrested. As he was being transported to jail, he told the officers in the patrol car that he was feeling ill, Allen said. The officers rolled the back window down between 10 and 12 inches.

As the patrol car began to move from a traffic light, Allen — with his hands cuffed behind his back — managed to undo his seat belt and began pushing himself out the window, Allen said. By the time he was able to fully wedge himself through the window, the patrol car had stopped and officers immediately took Summers back into custody.

Summers was arrested for investigation of two counts of child abuse, escaping from custody, interfering with an arrest, disorderly conduct, obstruction of justice and trespassing.

According to the chief, Summers was arrested two years ago for attempting to break into a church across the street from where the two young boys live, and light it on fire.

Police have requested Summers be held without bail. "Jason also has a history of drug use and extreme violence," officers wrote in a Cache County Jail report.

In 2016, Summers was convicted of discharge of a firearm and drug possession. In exchange for his plea, a charge of aggravated burglary was dismissed, according to court records.

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