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Father Charged With Fatally Beating Toddler Over Potty Accident

February 21, 1996

NEW YORK (AP) _ The father of a 2-year-old boy was arrested after telling investigators he beat his son to death while trying to toilet train him, police said.

Kevin Mikell was found in his family’s apartment Tuesday bruised and unresponsive, with a dislocated arm and cigarette burns on his body, said Capt. John Dillon. Authorities said later that they believed the boy was already dead when police arrived.

His father, Anthony Mikell, 43, was charged with murder after telling detectives that after trying to potty train Kevin, ``he lost patience with the kid and he did bang the kid around,″ Dillon said.

The New York Times quoted sources as saying that the father forced the boy to stay on the toilet for more than 12 hours, alternately smacking him and feeding him.

A neighbor, James Taylor, said one of the three children living with Mikell came to his door and told him her baby brother was not moving. Taylor said Mikell was in tears, and told him that Kevin had vomited and choked.

The child had been under the care of the city’s child protection agency but was returned to his parents within the last year, the paper said today.

According to the Times, Kevin was born on Dec. 18, 1993, and was placed in the city’s care 10 days later, apparently because of a positive test for drugs. The child’s mother had a history of drug abuse, officials told the newspaper.

It was unclear who initiated the action to return the boy to his father. An investigation was under way into how the city handled the case, the Times said.

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