Crime

Boy Falls Off Scooter, Mother Accused Of 'Severe Emotional Neglect'

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A Connecticut mother was arrested after her 7-year-old son, who was not wearing a helmet, fell from a scooter last week.

The boy fell a half-mile from his New Canaan home, fracturing his skull, suffering a brain bleed and a seizure on June 10.

The boy’s mother Catherine Palmer, 42, was at home at the time of the accident. She told police that one or both of her sons had informed her they were going to play basketball at a neighbor’s home, according to New Canaan Police Sgt. Carol Ogrinc.

Palmer was charged with two counts of risk of injury to a child, a felony charge. The second count is because the 7-year-old was unattended with his 9-year-old brother, NCAdvertiser.com reports.

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According to the arrest warrant, police found “severe emotional and psychological neglect occurring in the home.”

“Catherine arrived at the scene and did not appear to be concerned or upset that [the boy] was hurt,” the warrant states.

The first thing she said to the injured boy was: “I told you to wear your helmet.”

“While I was speaking with Catherine she did not show any emotion of being sad, concerned or upset and was very matter-of-fact about the situation,” Ogrinc wrote in the arrest warrant.

When she was interviewed at a local hospital, Palmer told police that her sons were playing a neighbor, but could not supply a surname and address for that person. She told Ogrinc that her children are in the entertainment business and the oldest has done TV commercials. Ogrinc noted that Palmer had trouble staying on topic and jumped from subject to subject.

The family babysitter told investigators the next day that as she left Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, Palmer allegedly told her, “We have to get our stories straight.”

“Catherine told [the babysitter] that the Department of Children and Families (DCF) is involved and she wants to make sure they are all saying the same thing,” the warrant says.

The babysitter “stated she knew something was wrong from Day 1,” Ogrinc wrote.

The oldest son stayed with a neighbor overnight while his brother was in the hospital. That neighbor contacted police and said Palmer is blaming the accident on him.

“Catherine told [the boy] if he says the wrong thing to the police or DCF, she’s going to make his life a living hell,” the neighbor told police.

They also alleged that Palmer said the 7-year-old “is her favorite and that she doesn’t really care about [the older boy] because he is so much like his father.”

Palmer is scheduled to appear in Norwalk Superior Court on Monday.

Sources: NCAdvertiser.com (2), News 12 Connecticut