NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A child from Florida is in critical condition after falling from a sixth-story window in Brooklyn, police said.
The girl fell on Wednesday afternoon at the Gravesend Houses where she was visiting the mother of her father’s girlfriend, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported.
NYCHA has since put window guards in the apartment where the girl was staying, but there were no guards in place when she fell.
The girl fell onto a grassy area, which possibly saved her life.
“Thank God the ground was soft from the rain,” neighbor Deloris Johnson told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell. “I’m telling the little girl, ‘don’t move, don’t move!’ She was trying to turn and she was moaning.”
Johnson said she ran to the girl’s aid.
“We were trying to keep her head still because she hit the floor,” she told Schuck.
Others who witnessed the fall ran over to help the little girl.
“I say ‘you jumped out the window?’ And she did say yes,” witness Regina Speller told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.
The girl was taken to Lutheran Hospital. Sources told Schuck the child “clearly had signs of abuse” on her body, including rope burns around her wrists and signs of a beating. Toxicology tests showed traces of drugs in her system, police said.
A search of the apartment where she was staying turned up a small envelope with heroin residue in it, sources told CBS 2.
“Something happened here and somebody did it to her and they should be punished,” Johnson said. “If it happened in Florida and somebody did that to that little girl they should be punished.”
“I’m pretty sure nothing like that went on here, whatever happened it had to happen in Florida,” resident James Whittaker said.
“I have a 6-year-old daughter, so that’s very appalling. That’s not anything I feel any child should have to go through and I hope they do a full investigation for the child’s sake,” neighbor Laura Boston told Aiello.
Police said about an hour and a half before the girl fell, she ran away from the apartment because someone had told her they were going to send her away.
A person spotted the girl on the street and called police. Officers returned her to the home, where nothing appeared to be amiss, police said.
Sources told CBS 2 the girl had traveled to New York with Diana Metellus, her father’s girlfriend.
They were staying with Metellus’s mother Gina at the housing complex.
Another witness said he saw Gina Metellus run up to the injured child
“She was screaming ‘my God, my God, my God.’ And I know her, she’s a really nice lady,” Leon Nickerson told Aiello.
Aiello reported that the girl’s father told police that she had been very upset recently over talk that she might be sent to Haiti to live with family there.
After she fell, child welfare workers removed other children from the home.
Detectives are investigating.
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