A 2-year-old died after he was found bleeding and covered in bruises at a Tennessee home, Memphis police say.
Now, his mother’s boyfriend has been charged after officials said he beat the boy with a dog toy, according to arrest affidavits from Shelby County.
The child’s mother left him in the care of her boyfriend on the evening of Sept. 3 while she was asleep, police say. Six hours later, police responded to a call at the home and found 2-year-old Anthony Bakare unresponsive.
They began CPR and rushed the child to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead Sept. 4, according to the affidavit.
Anthony Andrews, 22, has been charged with aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect, according to Shelby County court records.
Police say he struck his girlfriend’s child in the chest with his hand and hit him seven or eight times with a braided dog toy the morning the boy died.
Andrews told police he put the boy back in bed, but shortly after he noticed the child had fallen out of bed and was unresponsive, according to the affidavit.
The child’s mother told police she knew her boyfriend “disciplines” her son, sometimes using the dog toy or a belt, according to the affidavit. Recently, she had noticed more bruises on her son, which her boyfriend attributed to the child falling out of bed, police said in the affidavit.
Police say Andrews told them he had hit him “harder than (he) should” have with a belt a few weeks before the child died.
In an interview with WMC, Andrews’s sister defended him, saying although he was not the biological father of the child, he “would never hurt that baby.”
“He did not beat that boy to death,” she told WMC. “The autopsy report is not out and I won’t believe that my brother did anything until I see it myself.”
No additional charges have been announced at this time.
He’s held at Shelby County Jail on $250,000 bond, according to inmate records.
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