Shaquan Taylor observed Father's Day by allegedly almost beating his 16-month-old child to death.
According to police, Nylaha Lewis suffered two skull fractures from being hit by her 18-year-old father, and was rushed to a hospital in Brooklyn, where she remains in a coma, reports the Daily Mail.
Nylaha's mother, Tammy Lewis, made the mistake of leaving her with Taylor so they could spend Father's Day together. When she returned, however, she found her daughter covered in bruises and gasping for air, police say.
Nylaha's aunt, Christine Munford, told the New York Daily News that Taylor had previously threatened the child. "He said that about a year ago he was going to hit the baby" the next time he saw her. On Father's Day, Munford explained, "he threatened her and said he was going to punch her in the face when she got there. And then obviously that happened."
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After retrieving her injured daughter, Lewis too was also reportedly attacked by Taylor, who knocked her out and left her unconscious in the lobby of his apartment. Taylor then handed his critically-injured daughter to a friend, who in turn called an ambulance.
When questioned by authorities, Taylor said Nylaha's injuries were due to accidentally falling off the bed, but doctors concluded that he was lying.
Taylor was charged the following day, June 19, with felony assault for beating both Lewis and their child.
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He had previously been charged in 2015 for sexual misconduct with Lewis, who was only 14 at the time. In 2016, he was arrested for harassing her, the New York Daily News reported.
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains, "the U.S. teen pregnancy rate is substantially higher than in other western industrialized nations, and racial/ethnic and geographic disparities in teen birth rates persist." The government agency also notes that "less favorable socioeconomic conditions, such as low education and low income levels of a teen’s family, may contribute to high teen birth rates."
The problem of child abuse is prevalent across all parts of society, according to the organization Love Our Children USA. "Violence and neglect against children does not discriminate … It knows no color, no race. It happens in every city, town and state."
And child victims often become victimizers as adults. "They can be full of anger, can mistrust in relationships, are more apt to commit road rage, and more horrific violent acts, and contribute to the high cost of our mental health and welfare programs. Their self-esteem is shattered. They can grow up to be adults who continue the cycle of violence and neglect against children."