A New Jersey man is in custody after allegedly punching a 2-year-old boy to death.
Zachary Tricoche, 24, of Pennsauken, New Jersey, got into a fight with his girlfriend after she didn’t buy the groceries he liked, reports KYW-TV.
According to detectives, Tricoche punched his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son, Jamil Baskerville Jr., during the argument. He allegedly hit the toddler so hard that he flew backwards into the wall.
When Jamil got up, Tricoche allegedly told him to “put up his fists” before hitting him again in the chest. The boy then reportedly lost consciousness.
The boy’s mother called 911, saying her son had vomited and then become unresponsive. A medical examination revealed that Jamil’s liver was crushed and the boy bled to death internally. The official cause of death is blunt force trauma, and the manner of death has been ruled a homicide.
Jamil’s grandfather Gerome DeShields spoke at Tricoche’s arraignment, saying, “You’re less of a man to sit there and put your hands on any type of child, no matter what age it is. He was 2 years old. There should be no reason you should want to hit him.”
A link to the article posted on a Twitter account associated with KYW-TV drew a rapid response. One user wrote, “Horrible! They need 2 put this man in the Gen. Population & have them take care of him!”
Another added, “This is so heartbreaking!! This poor little soul killed!! His killer deserves to be tortured.”
Tricoche’s bail was set at $1 million.