Like a lot of stories involving custodial fathers who kill their children, a lot of the back story just doesn't make sense.
Dad ANTHONY MIKELL gained custody of his kids after the mother was presumably being "probed" for abusing the son. I'm not sure what "probed" means in this context. You mean the investigation was still under way, and nothing had been proven yet? So basically anybody could have made up allegations, and that would have been enough for the mother to lose custody? I guess that's what they're saying.
If so, what a complete and double standard here. It seems that social workers came to "suspect" that Daddy was was abusing the children--but were "apparently unable to find proof." So of course, the children stayed with Daddy--even though under the same vague criteria, the mother lost custody. Gotcha.
Result: This freaking animal of a father beat the 2-year-old son to death over 14 excrutiating hours--all because the little boy wouldn't master toilet training. Daddy was "frustrated" don't you know. Not surprising he would feel that way, as Daddy had a past history of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
And this is classic. Like all stories involving killer daddies, we must have the Clueless Idiot proclaiming how wonderful Daddy really was, and how he was "royal to his kids." Barf....
SON, 2, BEATEN TO DEATH COPS SAY DAD RAGED OVER TOILET TRAINING
This story was reported by AL BAKER, RUSS BUETTNER, JORGE FITZ-GIBBON, JOSE LAMBIET, DAVID L. LEWIS, JOHN MARZULLI and RAFAEL OLMEDA.
Wednesday, February 21th 1996, 1:95AM
A Bronx man trying to potty-train his 2-year-old son was charged last night with savagely beating the boy to death.
Anthony Mikell kept his son, Kevin, on the toilet for 14 hours and slapped him repeatedly, police said. He even made the boy eat supper while sitting there in an effort to force him to use the potty, said Bronx Detective Capt. John Dillon.
"After trying to potty train the boy, he got frustrated with the kid and banged him around," Dillon said. "The child fell from the pot and struck his head."
Mikell was arrested after police discovered that Kevin had suffered a dislocated shoulder and bruises all over his body. The medical examiner is expected to release a preliminary cause of death today.
Mikell, 43, was charged with depraved indifference murder and reckless endangerment. Police said he is hearing impaired and had been arrested in 1987 for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
He was given custody of Kevin after the boy's mother, Gwendolyn, was probed for abusing him, said a city official close to the investigation.
Child welfare agency records obtained by the Daily News revealed that the Mikell household was the focus of eight investigations since 1984. The agency ended its most recent probe of Anthony and Gwendolyn Mikell in October.
Kevin was taken to Lincoln Hospital at 8:13 a.m. and doctors said he had been dead for about four hours. "The child already had rigor mortis," said Dr. Jonathan Golden.
Police said they received a 911 call from the Mott Haven Houses at 7:55 a.m. that a boy had fallen off a bed and stopped breathing.
A resident, James Taylor, said he placed the call after Kevin's 11-year-old sister, Antoinette, knocked on his door and said, " 'Mr. Taylor! Mr. Taylor! My brother's not moving!' " Taylor said he ran over and found Mikell slumped in a chair and Kevin lying on a couch.
"The father was there grieving," Taylor said. "He said, 'Mr. Taylor, I don't know what's wrong with him. He's not responding.' "
Taylor said Mikell told him that Kevin "fell out of the bed from all the vomiting and that he picked him up and put him back in the bed."
But Dillon said Mikell had kept his son seated on the toilet from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday. "He struck the child, the child fell from the potty and struck his head," Dillon said. "The child was woozy but he put him in bed."
Taylor said when he checked the boy, "his little hands were getting cold. I didn't feel any kind of breathing."
Paramedics who arrived at the 13th-floor apartment on E. 141st St. found the boy's airway clogged with vomit. They inserted a breathing tube and got him to a hospital.
Antoinette and a sister, Kelly, 6, were removed from the home. Neither showed signs of physical abuse, Golden said. Baby-sitter Onetha Stanfield said Gwendolyn Mikell lives at a shelter with another son, Kenneth, 1.
Stanfield insisted that Mikell was a good father who "was royal to his kids."
But child welfare agency records revealed that social workers had long suspected the Mikell kids were being abused, but were apparently unable to find proof.
Most of the eight investigations were opened and shut within months, except for two one that was open for 11 months beginning December 1985 and another that was open for seven months starting November 1992.
The records did not show what happened in the cases. But cases open for a short time are typically those that investigators believe stem from unfounded allegations, an agency source said.
Kevin had been removed from the family home for a time by city social workers. So was Kenneth after he was born addicted to crack, a police source said.
But it could not be determined last night why Kenneth was returned to his mother.