A Texas dad murdered his two-year-old son with one punch when potty training did not go as expected. Most parents will agree that potty training a toddler is among one of the most challenging things to get through as a parent. However, resorting to physical violence because the little one is not doing it right is simply a horrible thing to do. Now, deputies from Harris County Sheriff’s Office have taken 21-year-old Antonio Hicks Sr. into custody after he struck his two-year-old son (and namesake) Antonio Hicks Jr. with a punch that snapped the baby’s neck and killed him.
Hicks Jr. was unresponsive when he arrived at the Houston Northwest Emergency Center on Sunday afternoon and died while being cared for soon afterward. Because his father struck him with so much force, Hicks Jr. was unable to survive the brutal attack that snapped his neck, separating disks in his spinal cord.
Authorities told KHOU that Hicks Jr. appeared to be an abused child. He had numerous injuries, both new and healing, when he was taken into the Houston-area hospital. None of the injuries were consistent with the story Hicks Sr. told doctors when the baby first arrived for emergency care.
When deputies started asking the father questions, Hicks Sr. described an unlikely incident when a stranger suddenly attacked him and his son while they were outside for a walk. However, Hicks was unable to keep his story straight and eventually revealed the truth – that he had brutally “snapped” his son’s neck while the child was potty training because of some frustrating accident.
At the time of the assault, the child’s mother was home and found the baby unresponsive. She reported the incident to the police and said that she heard several slaps and punches coming from the room where the father was “disciplining” his son for failing to get potty training right.
Hicks has since been charged with serious bodily injury and is held in jail on a quarter-million dollar bond. Once the autopsy confirms whether or not his punch was the result of the child’s death – which is almost certainly was – the charges could be upgraded to murder or manslaughter.
Relatives gathered for a social distancing vigil on Sunday night to mourn the death of the little boy, who was affectionately known as Baby K. They laid out tea candles in the shape of a large letter “K” in honor of the deceased baby boy. They brought balloons and stuffed toys representing the boy’s favorite TV characters on the steps outside the mother’s home. She is currently dealing with the fallout of losing her son and struggling to cope with the inconsolable grief of it all.
Readers of Daily Mail were outraged by the news. They shared dozens of comments in response to the news.
“Why they don’t call it straight homicide?” one San Francisco resident wrote.
Another added, “That poor baby. I’m crying.”
“How could you do that to your own baby? Prayers to the family, rest in peace little man from the U.K.”
What is your response to this tragedy in Houston?