A 6-year-old Harlem boy died after being rushed to the hospital covered in bruises, and his mother and her boyfriend were arrested on Tuesday as they are being investigated for child abuse.
While Zymere Perkins’ mother, Geraldine Perkins, has faced child abuse allegations five times before, she told authorities that it was her boyfriend, Rysheim Smith, who beat her son with a broken broomstick after the little boy relieved himself in an ice box.
Police received a frantic call on Monday as the caller reported an unconscious boy, and Perkins was seen carrying her son’s limp body out of the building. Although she flagged down a neighbor for help, she seemed to be too devastated to speak.
“I couldn’t tell if (the boy) was breathing. I knew something was wrong,” said Chauncey Brown, who was outside the building when Perkins emerged. “His body, his arms was just dangling.”
“When she came out, she had the boy in her arms, but his arm hung limp,” said a woman who saw Perkins headed to the hospital. “At first, I thought maybe he was having an asthma attack, like he wasn’t getting enough air or something. But his head was hanging to the side and his eyes was open, but it didn’t look like he was breathing.”
Perkins has been the source of abuse and neglect allegations before, and neighbors said that the little boy was not even registered to go to school this year.
“It’s just a tragedy — that’s all I can say,” said Nicole Cucci, who has lived in the building her whole life. “If either of them had something to do with this, they should rot in hell.”