A New Jersey man picked a fight with his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son, telling the defenseless toddler to put up his dukes before beating him to death.
Zachary Tricoche, 24, of Pennsauken was arraigned Tuesday in Camden County Superior Court on murder charges after his pathetic attempt at a boxing match with little Jamil Baskerville Jr., who weighed a mere 29 pounds.
Tricoche was then transferred to Camden County Jail, where he’s being held on $1 million cash bail.
Just prior to the Saturday night attack, Tricoche had gotten into a heated argument with his girlfriend over food she had purchased that was not up to his standards, prosecutors said.
During the war of words, Tricoche shoved his girlfriend, prompting the boy to cry, prosecutors said.
Tricoche allegedly challenged the boy to a fight by ordering him to put up his pint-size fists.
The brute then repeatedly slugged the child in his chest, knocking him clear across a table and sending him flying into a wall, prosecutors said.
Tricoche’s girlfriend quickly called police, telling a 911 operator that her son was vomiting.
The boy soon fell unconscious.
He was rushed to Cooper University Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
A medical examiner’s report said the boy had sustained a crushed liver and bled out internally.
The boy’s grandfather, Gerome DeShields, skewered Tricoche for picking a fight with a toddler.
“You’re less of a man to sit there and put your hands on any type of child, no matter what age it is,” DeShields told reporters after Tricoche’s arraignment. “He was 2 years old. There should be no reason you should want to hit him.”