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LONG BEACH : Police Say Man Threw Toddler Into Pool

August 18, 1994

Michael Dwayne Willis said he was trying to teach his 2-year-old son to swim when he tossed the boy from a second-story balcony into the deep end of a swimming pool, authorities said.

The boy's adult cousin, Tony Wofford, saw what happened Monday afternoon and dived into the pool. Michael Willis Jr. was reported to be shaken, but otherwise fine.

Willis, 20, was arrested for investigation of child endangerment and was being tested for drugs and held on $50,000 bail, said police Cpl. Josef Levy.

Michael's mother, Shylise Simpson, who lives elsewhere, said the boy had been getting accustomed to the water.

"For the past few weeks, we've been taking him into the pool, and he's been learning to hold his breath," she said. "But even though he's used to the water, he sure doesn't know how to swim."

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