A six-year-old boy died after suffering a contusion to his head and now his mother and her boyfriend have been arrested in connection to his death.
Zymere Perkins was rushed to hospital on Monday after reportedly being found unconscious at his home in Harlem, New York with bruises to his body – but was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
Mother, Geraldine Perkins, and her boyfriend, Rysheim Smith, were arrested last night on charges of acting in a manner injurious to a child.
Their arraignments were pending but murder charges are expected to be filed against one of them after the city’s medical examiner’s office determines how the child died, police sources said.
The young mom has been the subject of five child abuse investigations but was cleared of wrongdoing, according to ABC 7.
However sources close to the case said Geraldine told police that Smith, 42, was the one who dealt the deadly blows to Zymere.
Police said they received an alarming call from the boy’s apartment at 2.20pm on Monday with the caller telling the operator that the boy was unconscious.
Before waiting for the ambulance the mother, carrying the boy, hailed a cab and went to a hospital.
Neighbors told ABC 7 that they had not seen Perkins for days before Monday and said there were no tell-tale signs the boy was suffering from domestic abuse.
‘She walked out with the child in her arms,’ neighbor Chauncey Brown said. ‘And the child, the body was lifeless. So I don’t know whether he was alive and she was trying to get him some help. I don’t know.’
Another woman who saw the distressed Perkins leave for the hospital said she told her the child had fallen in the shower and noted that he had scratches on his back and old bruises dotted across his body.
‘When she came out, she had the boy in her arms, but his arm hung limp,’ the woman, who did not want to be identified, said.
‘At first, I thought maybe he was having an asthma attack, like he wasn’t getting enough air or something. But his head was hanging to the side and his eyes was open, but it didn’t look like he was breathing. That baby did not fall in no shower.’
The New York Daily News reported that Perkins told police that she and Smith, smelled feces as they entered the house and found the boy had defecated in an ice bucket.
Smith, who has 18 prior arrests, then began screaming at and beating Zymere, she told police.
After Smith had finished she took him to the shower but the boy was unresponsive.
The man stormed out of the flat soon afterwards, only to return after Perkins had taken the boy to the hospital.
He walked up to the apartment building, claiming to be unaware of what happened, witnesses said.
A social worker at Public School 192 in Harlem reported to police that Zymere may have been a victim of child abuse after she found bruises on his legs, sources said.
The boy wasn’t registered in school this year and neighbors said they had seen him walking and playing in the hallway, but never saw him go to school.