What to Know
- A 29-year-old Staten Island woman was arrested for allegedly neglecting her blind, autistic and epileptic son, police say
- Police found the 12-year-old boy naked, screaming and covered in his own waste, according to details from a criminal complaint filed Monday
- The boy was so malnourished, he resembled an 8-year-old child in physical stature and appearance, the complaint said
A Staten Island woman allegedly made her son sleep on a urine-soaked mattress and neglected her son so badly he resembled a child four years younger than him, details from a criminal complaint filed Monday revealed.
Ashley Bronte, 29, was arrested Tuesday morning after police found her malnourished 12-year-old son alone in their home at 601 Port Richmond Avenue, police said.
Police received a call about a naked boy banging his hands on the front window for several hours around 5:00 a.m., authorities said. The banging noises had allegedly gone on for about two and a half hours before the neighbor called 911.
With the help of the Emergency Services Unit, officers entered the home and found Bronte's son severely dehydrated, naked and screaming. According to police, she didn't return home until an hour later.
The young boy was found with dried feces on the backs of his legs and buttocks and dried urine on his legs, the complaint said.
A neighbor named Lynn said she was taking out the trash Tuesday when she saw a little boy banging against the window. She couldn't be sure it was the same boy that police found, but said he kept hitting the window "like he was playing."
But another neighbor who didn't want to be identified said he often heard banging against the window.
"Every night, 3:30, 4, I would hear banging, I would go downstairs," he said.
"It was a banging that sort of sounded like, 'Help, help me,'" he said.
The neighbor said he didn't see anything unusual, though, and didn't think to call police.
"Maybe I should have went outside and gone across the street," he said.
The neighbor who placed the 911 call to report the boy banging on the window declined to speak to NBC 4 Wednesday.
In her deposition, an NYPD officer who responded said the child's mattress and bedroom carpet were covered in urine. When she attempted to ask the boy what was wrong, he responded in grunts and yells, then proceeded to rock himself back and forth for 90 minutes. The boy clenched and unclenched his hands while his eyes were closed, according to the complaint.
Bronte told police she is aware that her son needs constant care because he's blind and suffers from autism and epilepsy, the complaint stated. She added that her son is part of an experimental program that requires him to be given doses of medical marijuana.
She was charged with one count of endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person in the first degree, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Bronte was also charged with attempted child abandonment, police said. ACS has been notified about the incident.
The Richmond County mom was charged for drug possession in 2015 after officers found 350 glassine baggies of heroin on her at the time of arrest, police said.
Neighbor Robert Cornette said he had no idea the mother even had a son.
"We only see her with a daughter every morning," he said.
"I'm shocked," said neighbor Lynn. "It's quiet over here. The church being here and everything, it's a nice neighborhood. Neighbors know each other. I never saw the young lady or the child."
"It really hurt me that someone would do that to a child. It's a shame, it really is."