A Brooklyn man has been charged with assault and other crimes in the case of his girlfriend's 3-year-old son, who is fighting for his life after suffering a fractured skull and a lacerated spleen and liver.
Salvatore Lucchesse, 24, was questioned after authorities responded to little Jaden Jordan's home on West Fifth Street in Gravesend Monday for a 911 call about a child in cardiac arrest. He was later arrested.
Information on an attorney for Lucchesse wasn't immediately available. He said nothing as he was led from a police precinct Wednesday.
Law enforcement sources said Jordan was found soiled. Lucchesse initially claimed he placed the boy in the bathtub to take a shower and the child slipped and hit his head. He claimed he gave Jordan CPR. But the sources said the injuries weren't consistent with being given CPR.
Jordan is on a ventilator and in critical condition at Coney Island Hospital. Doctors weren't able to determine how long he had had the injuries.
A man living at the boy's home says he met the family a few days ago when he rented a room from the boy's mother and her boyfriend. He spoke to her from Coney Island Hospital Tuesday.
"She's crying. It's her son. She's heartbroken. It's her kid," he said.
The man said he saw nothing out of the ordinary in the short time he's lived in their apartment.
"They seemed like a pretty good family," said the man, who asked not to be identified. "The kid was quiet. They never really argued or anything."
But another neighbor said she recently heard loud arguing coming from the home.
"Just words, violent words," she said, describing yelling between two men.
The neighbor also said she's only ever seen loving treatment from the boy's mother and grandmother, who at one point lived in the house.
Another neighbor named John said the boy "never looked like he was sad, never crying. The grandparents took care of him very well."
Sources said the city's Administration for Child Services received an anonymous tip over the weekend about a child covered in feces being kept in a cage, but it was for a wrong address on the street.
A spokesman for ACS confirmed it responded to the tip on Saturday, saying investigators arrived at the provided address within two hours of the report.
"After two days of diligently and aggressively investigating the complaint, it became clear to our child protective specialists that the caller reported an inaccurate address," spokesman Jose Bayona said.
ACS officials said investigators returned on Sunday and rang several doorbells in the building, but tenants weren't familiar with the people in the report. Finally, on Monday, child protective specialists were able to obtain the correct address, as well as other identifying information, and ultimately located the family.
There was a large pit bull and cage found in Jordan's home, confirming at least part of the anonymous tip, sources said.
In a statement Wednesday, the city's Department of Investigation said it sent a request to the state Office of Children and Family Services for access to ACS records regarding Jordan, which it has done in other child abuse cases.
"DOI has been actively investigating whether some or all of these cases were lawfully handled by ACS, whether there continue to be systemic and preventable problems at ACS that place children in danger, and whether ACS has implemented necessary changes noted in DOI’s prior reviews," DOI Commissioner Mark Peters said.