Parents of 5-year-old boy found home alone last night in despicable living conditions set to be arraigned shortly. Investigators say apartment in the Bronx was full of feces on the wall, infested with rats and roaches. Mom is nurse at Montefiore Hospital. Dad is an MTA employee. pic.twitter.com/rwZxGA3qTM— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) January 27, 2018
A man and woman are under arrest after their 5-year-old son, who appeared to be malnourished, was found alone in a Bronx home that was filled with rodents and bugs.
A FedEx worker delivering a package to 3054 Kingsbridge Ave. spotted the child unattended around 11:20 a.m. Friday. The delivery worker then alerted nearby police officers. According to the officials, the boy told them he hadn't seen his parents since Thursday.
The boy’s parents, Wilfred Lewis, 59, and Charlotte Lewis, 48, were later arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child after cops discovered the kid in the apartment filled with feces, trash, bedbugs and maggots.
“A couple of times they would leave the door open and I always told my boyfriend, ‘Oh, that house is kind of disgusting,’” said neighbor Deanna Strom, according to the New York Daily News.
The officers found human feces on the wall along with a number of dead and living rats and roaches adorning the floor. Prosecutors say they also found maggots in the house.
There were also significant blood smears found in the apartment, most of it on the bathroom floors and toilet. It is unclear where the blood came from.
The mom, a nurse at Montefiore Medical Center, was arrested at work and the father, who claimed his 5-year-old son was “self-sufficient,” surrendered at the 50th Precinct station house, sources said.
Charlotte and Wilfred Lewis each are charged with failing to exercise control of a minor.
The boy's father is also being charged with child endangerment.
“I won’t leave him alone anymore,” Wilfred tried to reassure cops after he was arrested for leaving the boy unsupervised, according to police sources.
The boy’s siblings, two girls, 12 and 13, and a 15-year-old deaf boy, were at school at the time. However, all four children were taken to Montefiore Medical Center by child-welfare agents and are now in the custody of the Administration for Children's Services.
“This is not a case of poverty, but severe child abuse and neglect,” said Assistant District Attorney Nick Lastella.
ACS' Deputy Commissioner for External Affairs Eric Ferrero released a statement:
"Our top priority is protecting the safety and well-being of all children in New York City. We are working with the NYPD to investigate this incident, and the safety of all of the other children who were in this home has been secured."
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