Police are hunting a man who allegedly slapped and burnt a three-year-old boy on the hand with a cigarette after the toddler sprayed him with a water pistol.
The boy and two of his friends, both aged eight, were playing on Raleigh Road in Norton, near Stockton, at 6.30pm on Monday when the incident happened.
Police said the man appeared to have become angry and slapped the toddler before burning him with a cigarette and leaving him with a slight injury.
Cleveland police are now appealing for witnesses to the alleged incident.
The man is described as white, over 6ft, thin and with a tattoo on his forearm. He was also wearing a hat and a high visibility vest.