MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man is facing charges after a two-year-old boy was reportedly beaten and died at the hospital.
According to Memphis Police, paramedics responded Monday to an unresponsive child in the 2600 block of Margot Street, near Lamar and American Way.
MPD says the two-year-old boy was not breathing and was bleeding from his mouth. He had bruises on his abdomen, sides and back, as well as a long bruise running from his forehead to his lower jaw.
Paramedics gave the child CPR. He was taken to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
The child’s mother told police that her boyfriend, Anthony Andrews, was watching her son while she slept.
Andrews told police he hit the child seven to eight times with a braided dog toy in his back, face and butt. He also stated he smacked the child in the chest and shoved him into a corner.
He claimed he put the child in bed. Moments later, he reportedly fell out of the bed, and that is when Andrews noticed he was unresponsive.
Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said while he can’t talk about specifics in this instance, he does get regular updates in child abuse cases.
“Any time you hear of someone that young being mistreated, someone that young, seriously injured or dies, obviously, it shocks us all, and my heart goes out to the victims and the families in the case,” he said.
The DA’s office told WREG that there have been 17 reported cases of child abuse to far this year compared to 15 last year. Mulroy said there’s a legal obligation to report to authorities if a teacher or other caregiver ever suspects abuse.
“Even aside from those situations where there is an affirmative, legal obligation just in general, as a public message, it would be useful for people to be on the lookout for signs of child abuse,” he said. “If you have reasonable grounds for thinking that it might be happening, then please do report it to the authorities.”
Anthony Andrews is charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect. A handwritten note in the legal report says he will most likely be charged in the boy’s death when the autopsy comes back.
Andrews is set to appear in court Tuesday morning.