A three-year-old boy fell to his death from a Harlem apartment building on Saturday morning after neighbors and witnesses said they heard adults arguing from the 29th floor, as his devastated mother screamed out “my baby, my baby, he is up there,” from the street below.
The child, who has not been named as of Wednesday, fell onto fifth floor scaffolding from the 29th floor balcony of an apartment at the Taino Towers residential complex on Third Avenue between East 122nd and 123rd Streets, according to the New York Post.
One neighbor told the outlet that they heard a loud “boom” sound as the toddler landed, at first mistaking the noise for construction.
“It sounded like something really heavy. It sounded like construction,” Tangerine Castro, who lives on the 23rd floor, said of the thunderous noise. ”
We just started looking and everybody started coming out of their building,” she said. “Everybody that were upstairs that could see down, saw the little boy with the yellow shirt. He was flat in the scaffolding.”
Child’s Mother Was Screaming On Street Below, As Father “Ran Downstairs Crying”
Other neighbors and witnesses said that the boy’s father “ran downstairs crying,” before trying to climb onto the scaffolding to get to the child, but was unable to do so, The Post reports.
Neighbor Alexander Townsend told The Post that the child’s mother was screaming “my baby, my baby, is he up there?!” after the boy’s tragic fall.
“She was sitting on the ground in her socks,” Townsend said of the boy’s mother. “She was screaming, ‘My baby, my baby, he is up there.”
Nidia Cordero, 58, a foster mother who lived on the 34th floor of the building told the Post that her kids heard a “big fight” between adults on the 29th floor minutes before the toddler fell.
“When you look out the terrace you see the baby’s body. He was in his diapers and T-shirt,’ Cordero said. ”
Then you hear screams”‘ she added. “I think the mom was screaming and I looked and the baby was in the scaffolding.”
The boy was taken to nearby Harlem Hospital, where he was eventually pronounced dead at 11:30 am, according to NYPD. Preliminary reports state that the child’s fall was accidental.
A History of Domestic Violence in the Boy’s Home, Neighbors Say
The neighbor said she had seen the child before in the building elevator with his dad, telling The Post that the boy often looked “withdrawn” while adding she knew of domestic violence issues in the family.
Meanwhile, the NYPD would not comment on the domestic violence accusations, but did say an investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Tangerine Castro, 33, who lives on the 23rd floor, told The Post that the balconies are at least 30 years old and are currently being replaced, and that the mosquito netting on the balconies are all old as well.