What to Know
- A 7-year-old boy was badly injured after being picked up and violently slammed to the ground by a man in Queens Thursday, police said
- The boy was on his grandfather’s porch in Kew Gardens when the man came up to him, picked him up and threw him down head first, cops said
- The boy was rushed to Jamaica Hospital where he was in critical but stable condition, police said
A 7-year-old boy was badly injured after being picked up and violently slammed to the ground by a man in Queens Thursday afternoon, police said.
The young boy, who is from Long Island and visiting his grandparents, was sitting on his grandfather’s porch on Metropolitan Avenue and 123rd Street in Kew Gardens around 4:15 p.m. as he waited for a pizza delivery with other neighborhood children. That’s when, according to police, the stranger came up to him, picked him up and threw him to ground hard, head first.
The boy was rushed to Jamaica Hospital where he was in critical but stable condition, police said. His grandfather, Naftali Portnoy, told NBC New York he believed the man was emotionally disturbed and followed the suspect until police arrived to arrest him near the scene.
According to Portnoy, who said he has never seen anything like the incident in the 40 years he’s lived in the neighborhood, the suspect said “I’m bipolar. I wanted to kill the kid.” He also was bothering other people on the block earlier in the day, Portnoy said, adding that his grandson did nothing to provoke the attack.
The boy was wearing a yarmulke at the time of the attack, but Portnoy does not believe the attack was hate-fueled — instead pinning the incident on possible mental illness.
Law enforcement sources tell NBC New York the 35-year-old man was identified as Laurence Gendreau, who has four prior arrests. He was taken to a hospital for an examination, with no word on what charges he might face. An investigation is ongoing.