"Caretaking" dad NATHAN WADE MERRITT just couldn't handle the responsibilities of watching the children while the mother was working. So "Daddy went 'pow'" (as the 2 1/2-year-old eloquently put it). Dad's been arrested for felony child abuse though he claims amnesia about the whole thing--mighty convenient, that amnesia thing is. And although Mom wasn't at home during the incident, the kids have been put in protective custody.
Father accused of abusing toddler
By LISA A. DAVIS
Published: July 10, 2009
NEW PORT RICHEY - A mother came home from work Tuesday night and found her children's father holding down their 17-month-old son and digging his thumb into the child's back, according to a police report.
The toddler was facedown on the bed, a report stated.
"The child was just beside himself crying," said New Port Richey Police Capt. Jeffrey Harrington.
On Wednesday, Nathan Wade Merritt, 5807 Wyoming Ave., was arrested on a felony child abuse charge. He was being held at the Land O' Lakes Jail on Thursday with bail set at $2,000.
The boy's face was swollen, particularly around the eyes, according to the report, and he had bumps on the back of his head. When the mother asked her 21/2-year-old daughter what happened, she said, "Daddy went 'pow.'"
As a precaution, both children were taken to Community Hospital in New Port Richey, where they were treated and released, Harrington said.
They discovered the girl also had lumps on her head, according to Harrington. The children were placed in protective custody, he added.
Merritt told police he couldn't remember what happened but he was the only one watching the children, the report states.
The investigation is ongoing.