A 3-year-old boy died on Saturday after falling from the 29th floor balcony of a Harlem apartment building – as his distraught mother yelled “My baby, my baby” from the street below, police and witnesses said.
Neighbors described hearing what sounded like a “boom” and a “thump” as the toddler climbed onto scaffolding on the fifth floor of a high-rise in the Taino Towers condominium complex on Third Avenue between East 122nd at around 11:10 a.m and 123rd Street fell and landed am, the NYPD said.
“It sounded like something really heavy. It sounded like a construction site,” Tangerine Castro, who lives on the 23rd floor, said of the thunderous “boom.”
“We just started searching and everyone came out of their building,” she said. “Everyone who was upstairs and could see down saw the little boy in the yellow shirt. He was lying flat on the scaffolding.”
The child’s mother, who was outside at the time, then began screaming, witnesses said.
“She was sitting on the floor in her socks. She was screaming, ‘My baby, my baby, he’s up there,'” said neighbor Alexander Townsend, 25.
The boy’s father “ran downstairs crying” and tried to climb the scaffolding to get his son but couldn’t, Townsend said.
The boy was taken to Harlem Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:31 a.m., the NYPD said.
According to preliminary reports, the child’s fall was an accident, police said.
Nidia Cordero, 58, a foster mother who lives on the 34th floor, said her children heard “a big fight” between adults coming from the 29th floor balcony, and less than 10 minutes later there was a “bang”.
“If you look out onto the terrace, you can see the baby’s body. He was in his diapers and his t-shirt,” Cordero said.
“Then you hear screams,” she said. “I think the mother was screaming and I checked and the baby was in the scaffolding.”
Cordero said she has helped the tot’s mother in the past, even buying him diapers and milk.
“He was a beautiful little boy,” Cordero said.
The neighbor said she saw the child with his father in the building’s elevator and described how the boy looked “withdrawn”. She said she was aware of domestic violence issues in the family.
The NYPD declined to comment, other than to say, “The investigation continues.”
Castro, 33, the 23rd-floor resident, said the balconies are about 30 years old and are being replaced. She said that the mosquito net on the balconies is also quite old.
“Right now we don’t have air conditioning. Everyone is hanging out on the balcony right now, but I can’t tell if it’s one or the other,” she said of what could have led to the tragedy.
https://nypost.com/2022/07/02/nyc-tot-falls-to-his-death-from-29th-floor-balcony-cops-say/ NYC Tot falls to his death from 29th floor balcony, cops say