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Police lieutenant confirmed he put his 3-year-old son in jail cell for struggling with potty training

Lt. Michael Schoenbrod said he and Det. Sgt. Jessica Long put their 3-year-old in a jail cell on back-to-back days over potty training challenges. (Image: Daytona Beach Shores Public Safety Department)

Lt. Michael Schoenbrod said he and Det. Sgt. Jessica Long put their 3-year-old in a jail cell on back-to-back days over potty training challenges. (Image: Daytona Beach Shores Public Safety Department)

A police lieutenant in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, admitted to an investigator for the state’s Department of Children and Families that he and the child’s mother put their 3-year-old son in a jail cell on back-to-back days because the child was having trouble with potty training.

He said he told his son that he was a cop and that he takes bad boys to jail who don’t follow the law, according to a video shared with Law&Crime on Thursday.

“So that’s what I did. I said, ‘You know, you’re not following the rules. Let go to jail,'” said Lt. Michael Schoenbrod of the Daytona Beach Shores Public Safety Department in footage dated Oct. 27, 2022. He also acknowledged handcuffing the child.

The jail incidents took place on Oct. 5 and 6, according to The Dayton Beach News-Journal. Schoenbrod said that the child’s mother (identified by the outlet as Det. Sgt. Jessica Long) did it on the first day. She only did it for perhaps three or five minutes, he said. The caseworker discussed an allegation that the mother rubbed feces on the child’s face. Schoenbrod denied that, saying he did not know where the claim came from.

“That’s absolutely disgusting,” he said.

Schoenbrod said that the boy had to be potty trained by 3 to be able to go to a certain facility (apparently a preschool or the like). By the time of the early October incident, the child’s struggles continued. Schoenbrod said he took his son to jail on the second day because the potty troubles continued. Contrary to another allegation that parents left their son at the jail by himself, he maintained that he had eyes on his child the entire time. He said he never left his son unaccompanied. Before placing the child in the cell, he checked for contraband in the space, he said.

Schoenbrod confirmed handcuffing the child, saying he did it on the front and not the back.

He said it was all effective, and the younger boy now potty trains correctly.

“He was crying,” he said. “He was getting the response I expected from him.”

Mimicking his son crying, Schoenbrod said his son promised never to poop in his pants again.

The video, which is from the body camera of a Volusia County deputy who escorted the DCF investigator, is often pixelated for what is presumably privacy reasons. The child-in-question can be heard entering the room and cheerfully announcing that he just pooped in the potty.

Schoenbrod discussed disciplining an older son in similar fashion years before. He learned from a teacher about the boy, then 4, hitting a girl. According to Schoenbrod, the older son confirmed that.

“Okay, you know daddy puts guys who hit girls in jail, right?” he said.

“Yeah,” the boy said.

“So let’s go to the jail.”

He watched the boy, then 4, in the jail, he said. The boy cried. The child now said that he would never do anything like that again, according to Schoenbrod.

“It was effective,” he said.

More Law&Crime Coverage: Former police chief and later chief deputy sentenced for punching compliant arrestees in the face while they were handcuffed

The results of a reported professional standards investigation against Schoenbrod and Long are unclear.

Tammy Marzik, a public information officer for the city of Daytona Beach Shores declined to comment, citing “a non-public court order entered without notice on March 24, 2023.”

The parents’ attorney, Michael Lambert, did not respond to Law&Crime’s request for comment.

“The Department conducts investigations concerning all allegations of abuse, neglect or abandonment,” Tori Cuddy, Northwest Region Communications Director for the Florida Department of Children and Families, told Law&Crime in an email. “The Department is working with law enforcement, and all other information regarding investigations is confidential per section 39.202, Florida Statutes.”

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