Boy Who Called 911 Twice to Report Abuse Found Beaten to Death by Stepfather
A ten-year-old boy’s brutal death at the hands of his stepfather could have been avoided after it was revealed the boy called 911 twice in the past year to report abuse. Abdifatah Mohamud, from Buffalo, New York, was found beaten to death in his family’s basement last week. He was bound, gagged and struck repeatedly with a rolling pin. Though the Buffalo Police Department is investigating how officers handled the calls, they did confirm they reported the allegations to Erie County Child Protective Services – who are accused of not doing enough to help the boy or remove him from the home.
They are refusing to comment on the case. A police department spokesman says the police commissioner ordered the investigation into 911 calls made in April 2011, when Abdifatah told authorities his stepfather Ali-Mohamad Mohamud was abusing him. Officers responding to a missing child report last week found the boy’s body. The 40-year-old security guard has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge.
The Buffalo News said that the officers who responded to the 911 calls immediately reported the allegations to Erie County Child Protective Services and made a domestic incident report, which they also passed on to CPS. The agency failed to remove Abdifatah from the home after this report. Peter Anderson, spokesman for Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, told the Buffalo News that confidentiality laws prevent him from commenting on any response by the county’s Child Protective Services Division regarding Abdifatah. ‘Personally speaking, I have children of my own, and as a father, this tears at my heart. However, because of state law, we can’t comment on this case,’ said Poloncarz.
Principal at International Preparatory School, where the ten-year-old was a fifth-grade student, said there were troubling warning signs, but the family did a good job of covering it up. Kathy Jamil said in June 2011 he came to school badly beaten up with a swollen forehead and two swollen, black eyes. His father told his teacher he had been in a fight on the bus with another boy. He had that day been ‘horsing around’ with another student but no one actually witnessed the alleged fight. Principal Jamil said: ‘It was very suspicious. But because the student had admitted to wrestling with him and pushing him, it was very possible that he had just got hit the wrong way on the window. ‘I tried to stress in him that he would be safe with me, and he said, “I just had a fight on the bus”.’
CPS officials were also said to have investigated after the boy showed up severely bruised at school but never saw fit to remove him from the home. Principal Jamil also said Abdifatah would say alarming things like: ‘I’m going to get killed, I’m going to be in so much trouble’, but then would follow it by laughing so no one was really sure if he was telling the truth. According to the police report filed last April with CPS, Somalia-born Mohamud explained to the investigating officers that his stepson was accusing him of child abuse because of issues over the boy doing his homework.
When he confessed to killing his son on April 17, he again said he was attempting to discipline his son, who he claimed was kicking him. The 40-year-old admitted tying up his son’s hands, tying him to a chair, sticking a sock in his mouth before duct-taping it shut and then beating him with a rolling pin. He said it was the first time he ever harmed the boy. An autopsy found he had been struck 70 times.
No words for how sad this is. That stepfather needs to be locked up forever.
R.I.P. Abdifatah Mohamud.