Lakewood Toddler's Death is First Homicide in 3 Years
30-year-old Lakewood man in custody.
For the first time in nearly three years, Lakewood may have a homicide on its hands.
A 30-year-old Lakewood man is in jail in connection with the Friday death of his 2-year-old neighbor.
The man, Michael Burton of 2120 Robin Ave., was babysitting Anthony Dabila, who lived next door to Burton, according to the Lakewood Police Department.
Police were called at 9 p.m. Friday to a report of an unresponsive child, said Sgt. Edward Favre. “We went there and (Dabila) was not responsive,” he added.
Favre would not say who else was present at the time of the incident — which took place in Burton’s apartment — but he added that the boy’s mother was not present. He also wouldn't say who made the 911 call.
The boy was taken to Lakewood Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Favre said. Outside the entrance to the apartment, where Dabila lived with his mother, was a stuffed teddy bear placed in the snow.
The county coroner performed an autopsy Saturday and ruled the toddler's death a homicide.
"All we can establish is that (the boy's death) was caused by blunt impact to the head," said coroner spokesman Powell Caesar, who declined to comment further.
Burton is being held in the Cuyahoga County jail. The county prosecutor’s office is expected to file charges against Burton Monday.
Police Chief Timothy Malley said recently that the last homicide in Lakewood was in March 2008 outside a Detroit Avenue bar, when Derrick Dykas of Michigan punched a Lakewood man, killing him. Found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, Dykas was sentenced to three years in prison.