NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A man was charged with multiple counts late Tuesday after his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son was found with severe head injuries.
The boy’s mother was also taken into custody.
Salvatore Lucchesse, 24, was charged with four counts of assault and one count of acting in a manner injurious to a child under 17, police said.
As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, an NYPD Crime Scene Investigation van sat in the driveway of the Gravesend home where the incident happened.
The NYPD responded to a 911 call of a child in need of medical assistance on West 5th Street in Brooklyn Monday afternoon at 4:20 p.m.
When officers arrived, they found the severely injured boy. He was unconscious, bleeding from the head, and covered in feces, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.
A woman who did not want to be identified said she saw a man open the door and hand off the lifeless boy to paramedics.
“And the baby facing up like naked, it was so cold last night, and gave it to the paramedic,” the woman said. “They took and right away he closed the door. Soon the paramedic took the baby. He closed the door.”
The boy was rushed to Coney Island Hospital, where doctors determined he was brain dead.
Sources said the man who called for help was the boyfriend.
Doctors at the hospital told police the child’s injuries included a fractured skull and were not consistent with a fall.
Police took both the child’s mother and her boyfriend into custody.
The boyfriend told police he was giving the child a bath when the boy fell, sources said. He also said he tried to administer CPR.
The boy remained on life support at Coney Island Hospital late Tuesday.
Upon further investigation, police came to learn that the Administration for Children’s Services responded to a call to the same address Saturday after they received an anonymous report claiming that a female child was being kept in a dog cage there. Police have confirmed that there is a dog cage in the apartment, but have no word about a little girl.
The anonymous tipster who placed the call over the weekend gave the boyfriend’s name, but accidentally gave the wrong address, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.
It’s terrible. It’s heartbreaking to hear,” said a man who did not want to show his face. “It’s shell-shocking, actually.”
The man lives in the home as a roommate to the couple and the boy. He told CBS2’s Castro he spoke to the boy’s mother by phone earlier in the day.
“She was crying. It’s her son. She’s heartbroken. It’s her kid,” the man said.
The man said he was out of town the last several days and moved in recently. From what he could tell, he said the child was well-cared for.
Police have questioned several neighbors about the family. Neighbors told Jones they’ve heard shouting and violent language coming from the home.
“I heard just yelling but it was distorted, I was in the house, just heard commotion,” one woman said.
Others said the boy seemed happy.
“It’s sad because I would see the boy playing with his mom and it looked like he had a lot of energy, he looked like a happy boy, I mean he’s three,” another said.
Another neighbor who knows the family could not believe what happened.
“I’m shocked,” said Richard Garbiras. “This is, if I had seen anything, I would never let anything happen to a child. That would kill me in my heart to see that. I’m heartbroken.”
The ACS said in a statement they are “saddened” by the incident and “are investigating the circumstances” that led to it.