DALLAS Police arrested a 26-year-old woman who they say routinely beat her two-year-old son.

The child arrived at Children's Medical Center on April 24 with a broken leg, but police found more injuries and said the abuse was over potty training.

According to court documents, the toddler had '...a left femur fracture, shoulder fracture, injury to his wrist and scars to his arms, face and torso.' Doctors at Children's told police 'his pattern of repeated traumatic injuries is indicative of child physical abuse.'

Police arrested his mother, Marilyn Lockhart, for injury to a child. She was released on a $25,000 bond.

'Sadly, a large number of our cases involve children who are younger than two years of age,' said Child Protective Services spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales.

She said that's because of potty training.

The report says the toddler 'defecated in his diaper, removed it, and began smearing his feces on this face and eventually ate it. This made the suspect irate, causing her to beat the child on his leg with a belt.'

Potty training is one of the leading causes of child abuse. Two years ago, a Dallas mother was sent to prison for gluing her daughter's hands to the wall and beating the child because of potty training problems.

'It's a very stressful time, obviously, and I think there are a lot of parents that don't have the resources to manage it,' Gonzales said. 'A lot of frustration involved, and sometimes they blame the child.'

Police say in the most recent case, Lockhart and relatives initially told investigators the child was injured by falling of a slide, and later said he fell down the stairs. Ultimately the mother allegedly confessed saying, 'She feels that the child and his twin sister are an embarrassment. Their behavior is out of control.'

She also told police the children sometimes eat out of the trash and she can't control them.

The little boy and his sister have been moved from the home and are now in foster care.


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