A 6-year-old boy from Harlem, New York, died after a blow to the head, and his mother and her boyfriend have been arrested in connection with causing his death.
Zymere Perkins, was taken to hospital on Sept. 26 after being found unconscious in his home, with bruises on his body, reports the Daily Mail.
His mother, Geraldine Perkins, and her boyfriend, Rysheim Smith, were arrested on Sept. 27 on charges of acting in a manner injurious to a child. The mother has reportedly been the subject of five child abuse investigations, but was cleared of wrongdoing in each case. Smith has 18 prior arrests.
Police received a call at 2.20 p.m. on Sept. 26, but before they arrived, the mother took Zymere in a cab to the hospital.
When questioned by WABC, some neighbors said that they had not seen Perkins for days, but none of them indicated having been aware of any signs of child abuse, reports Daily Mail.
One eyewitness reported the mother telling her that Zymere had fallen in the shower, but didn’t believe it. “At first, I thought maybe he was having an asthma attack, like he wasn't getting enough air or something,” she said. “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.”
Perkins later told police that Smith was the one responsible for the fatal injuries to Zymere. She said Zymere had defecated in an ice bucket, and Smith allegedly reacted by beating the boy.
Smith reportedly left the apartment soon afterwards, but returned after Zymere had been taken to the hospital, claiming to be unaware of what had happened.
A social worker at Public School 192 in Harlem reported to police she had previously found bruises on Zymere’s legs. Neighbors said the child had not been going to school recently, and it has been confirmed that he was not registered in school this year.
Police believe the murder weapon is a stick, but the medical examiner’s office has yet to officially determine the cause of death, reports the New York Post.