NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A mother was in police custody late Thursday afternoon after allegedly tossing her infant from an apartment window in the Bronx, the NYPD said.
As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, police said the infant girl was thrown from a sixth-floor window around 1:50 p.m. at 2200 Tiebout Ave., at 182nd Street, in the Fordham Heights section of the borough.
The 6-month-old was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital, but later died, 1010 WINS’ Darius Radzius reported.
Residents said they heard a loud commotion in apartment 6D in the building.
“I heard the argument and stuff, and throwing — like things slamming and throwing out,” said neighbor Lizette Rodriguez.
A 27-year-old mother whom neighbors identified as Tenisha Fearon sounded very distressed, neighbors said. They said she was out of control making a chilling and unfathomable threat, CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported.
“(She said), ‘I’m going to throw the baby out the window!’ and she was screaming, ‘We’re all going to die!’ and that’s when I figured, ‘OK, this is time to call 911,’” Rodriguez said.
But it ended up being too late, she said.
“While I’m on the phone with 911, I heard, ‘Thump,’ and I started to tell her: ‘I heard a thump. I think she throw the baby,’ and you heard the people screaming,” Rodriguez said. “There were people in both roofs – on my building and the next building next door — they were on the roof, yelling at her to stop – yes, to stop, ‘Don’t do it!’ You know, ‘What are you doing? Think about it!’”
But the worst case scenario came to pass.
“My husband saw the baby when he came in through the back,” Rodriguez said.
Many neighbors witnessed what detectives were investigating as tragic psychotic episode. Three older children – ages 10, 8 and 4 — were also in the apartment.
One man, named Lopez, said from his apartment that he could see the other children.
“So I’m thinking she’s going to throw more kids out. But eventually, that’s not what happened,” Lopez said. “Cops came, knocked the door down, and they started to get them out. She was laying on the floor naked, and after that, she started just telling, you know, ‘God help!’ you know, stuff like that.”
A man named Jose told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell that all indications had been the suspect was a good mother.
“If you see her kids, they’re very well-fed, they’re very well-dressed. She’s a very nice lady,” he said.
Ann Johnson said she was a longtime friend of the family and had known suspect Fearon’s mother.
“I cannot believe she did that,” Johnson said. “She was OK — I’m trying to tell you.”
Added family friend Pauline Bryan: “I saw her with all of her children – the baby and two girls and the boy…. I don’t know of any problems.”
Police said the mother was taken to Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center for a mental evaluation. As of late Thursday afternoon, no charges had been filed.
Authorities said the other children were removed from the apartment and placed with Child Protective Services, WCBS 880 reported.
The city Administration for Children’s Services released a statement: “We are currently investigating the circumstances that led to this tragic incident and are actively working to ensure the well-being of the three remaining children in this household.”
On Thursday night, police were still guarding the scene, and New York City Medical Examiner’s office investigations had also arrived – even though the child was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Meanwhile, detectives at the 46th Precinct spent hours interviewing witnesses, including the father of the 6-month-old baby. Police told CBS2’s Schneider the baby’s father left the precinct in tears.
The incident occurred about a mile from where a woman allegedly killed her newborn daughter by throwing her from a seventh-floor window last month. The mother, Jennifer Berry, 33, was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter.
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