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Fargo man pleads not guilty to beating toddler's genitals with comb, forcing him into icy shower

Pittman Bonard Cheapoo

FARGO – A Fargo man is pleading not guilty to charges he abused a toddler.

Pittman Cheapoo, 25, appeared in Cass County Court on Wednesday on child abuse charges.

Court documents say Cheapoo is accused of hitting a 2-year-old child with a comb and forcing him into an icy shower, leaving him with bruises and swollen genitals.

Cheapoo's next court appearance is set for April.

Cheapoo admitted to officers responding to Essentia Health in south Fargo on New Year's Eve that he hit the child with the comb and forced him into the cold water as a means of disciplining the toddler.

Officers were called to Essentia after a nurse reported suspected child abuse. They found the boy had severe swelling and bruising of his genital organs, documents say. He had also been hit and scratched about the face, thighs and chest, documents say, with fingernail marks and golf- ball-sized purple bruises on his cheeks near the chin.

Officers retrieved the plastic comb at Cheapoo's apartment after receiving his permission to go inside, documents say. Pittman told police he hit the boy with the comb about five times.