Authorities arrested the parents of a 6-year-old boy who died after after he was taken to a Manhattan hospital with bruises on his body and a contusion to the head.
Neighbors tell NBC 4 New York Zymere Perkins' mother, 26-year-old Geraldine Perkins, came running out of her West 135th Street home Monday afternoon with the boy's limp body in her arms, saying he fell in the bathtub and wasn't breathing. They helped her hail a cab to St. Luke's, where police say Perkins was pronounced dead.
"The body was lifeless," said Chauncey Brown, who saw the mother carry the boy from the home. "The arms were dangling, stuff like that."
Witnesses say the boy was covered in bruises and scratches and had what they described as "welts" on his stomach; they said they hadn't seen the marks prior to Monday.
Police arrested the boy's mother and her boyfriend, 42-year-old Rysheim Smith, on charges of acting in a manner injurious to a child.
Police were seen examining a broken broomstick in a crime van, but investigators would not say if they believe it played a role in Perkins' death.
Neighbors say Perkins was a sweet boy. They say his parents asked for money frequently, and that they never saw the couple with groceries.
"A 6-year-old kid? It feels like that's my son," Brown said. "I didn't know the boy that well, but it hurts like if it was your own."