Louisiana Police Officer Says 2-Year-Old Was Tortured

The 2-year-old's injuries were so severe that a Monroe police officer said, "This boy wasn't abused, he was tortured."

The boy, whose name was not released, has been in the pediatric intensive care unit at St. Francis Medical Center since Sunday, though his injuries may have occurred five days earlier, Maj. Don Bartley said Monday.

He was in stable condition Tuesday, the hospital reported.

Bartley said the boy's parents, Jessica M. "Nikki" Dixon, 24, and Rodney T. "Big Daddy" Webster, 18, were held in lieu of $10,000 bond after being booked with second-degree cruelty to a juvenile, Bartley said. Deputies at the jail said they remained in custody Tuesday.

Bartley said the child was beaten so severely that it split his spleen and cut his liver. He also had a broken left arm, bruised intestine, air in his stomach and pelvis; and severe bruises on his face, back and buttocks.

The boy's 4-year-old sister told police she saw Webster punch and kick him and Dixon hit him with a coat hanger, according to the arrest reports.

Dixon took the boy to LSU Health Sciences Center-Monroe on Saturday, but left before a doctor saw him, police said. His grandmother took him to St. Francis on Sunday. Webster and Dixon were arrested that night.