A New York City woman has been charged with second-degree murder for allegedly smothering her 20-month-old son while locked inside a restaurant bathroom, police said Tuesday morning.
New York police arrested 35-year-old Latisha Fisher outside a 5 Boro Burger restaurant in the city’s Midtown area Monday afternoon, according to am NewYork. Employees reportedly called police to the restaurant after finding Fisher in the bathroom holding her son, Gavriel Ortiz-Fisher, who was foaming at the nose and mouth.
A police source told the New York Daily News a customer first encountered Fisher in the restroom while Fisher was holding her hand over the baby’s mouth.
“I put my hand over his mouth to put him to sleep,” Fisher allegedly told the woman, according to the source.
Fisher then reportedly locked herself in the bathroom and employees and customers grew concerned the longer she and the baby stayed inside.
With the restroom line growing, restaurant employees forced their way into the bathroom and found Fisher holding her son.
Unnamed sources told the Daily News the mother tried to swat away restaurant employees as they attempted to provide CPR to the boy.
Paramedics rushed the toddler to a nearby hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Neighbors in Fisher’s apartment complex who spoke with the Daily News said the mother sometimes had a violent streak.
The New York Times reported Fisher was arrested in 2011 on charges of assault and criminal possession of a weapon, but it was unclear how that case was resolved.
Other neighbors who spoke to The Times said she was largely a doting mother and never gave any indication she might hurt her son.
“She was crazy with that baby; she always took care of him,” said neighbor Josefina Deleon when she spoke to The Times.
Fisher lived with Gavriel’s father, Luis Ortiz. Police brought Ortiz to a nearby precinct station to notify him of his son’s death.
Ortiz’s mother, Miriam Lozada, spoke to the Daily News and said the family was mourning after receiving the news.
“I’m going to miss my sweetheart, miss my boy, I’m going to miss him so much,” Lozada said of her grandson.
Photo Credit: Facebook photo via New York Daily News