MPD: 2-year-old dead after discipline involving braided dog toy; mother’s boyfriend facing charges

Published: Sep. 4, 2023 at 9:36 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 4, 2023 at 10:15 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A two-year-old boy was pronounced dead Monday morning after being disciplined with a braided dog toy, according to the Memphis Police Department.

The mother’s boyfriend, 22-year-old Anthony Andrews, is now facing child abuse charges.

At 5:49 a.m. Monday, first responders were dispatched to a home on Margot Street in the Oakville neighborhood for a two-year-old boy who was found unresponsive.

According to Memphis police, the child wasn’t breathing, was bleeding from the mouth, and had bruises across his body.

Family members identified the boy as 2-year-old Anthony Bakare.

Anthony Bakare
Anthony Bakare(Family)

Paramedics started CPR and rushed the boy to a local hospital, but he did not survive.

Meanwhile, at the home, officers spoke with the child’s mother and Andrews, her boyfriend.

The victim’s mother told police that she last saw her son in good health around 11:15 p.m. Sunday.

She said she went to sleep and Andrews took over watching her son.

She told police that Andrews was known to discipline her child and added she had seen him use a belt or braided dog toy to strike him before.

She said she recently noticed “excess bruising and wounds” on her child, but when she questioned Andrews about it, he told her the two-year-old had “fallen out of bed.”

Andrews admitted to investigators that he struck the two-year-old “seven to eight times” with a braided dog toy in the back, face, and buttocks Monday morning and that a few weeks beforehand, he hit the child “harder than [he] should” with a belt.

Police say he also admitted to slapping the toddler “at least once or twice” Monday morning before shoving him into a corner. Andrews said he then placed the two-year-old back in bed.

He said the boy fell out of the bed several minutes later, and that’s when Andrews noticed he was unresponsive.

Andrews is charged with aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect.

No bond information is available at this time.

He is due in court Tuesday morning.

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