Crime and Courts

Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.
child abuse

NY Mom Accused of Leaving 6-Year-Old Girl in Street, Throwing Her Clothes Out Car Window

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A 29-year-old Long Island mother faces child abandonment and other charges for allegedly abandoning her 6-year-old daughter on a Queens street this week, prosecutors said Wednesday. The woman's boyfriend has also been charged.

Patrice Chambers allegedly stopped her car near 140th Avenue and Springfield Boulevard just before 11:30 a.m. Monday and ordered her little girl out of the car. Her boyfriend, Mark Pamphile, was in the passenger seat.

Someone threw the child's belongings, in plastic bags, out of the car and the mother allegedly drove off, prosecutors say. Surveillance video shows the little girl getting out of the car and the bags fly out shortly thereafter. The footage shows the mom drive away as the child runs in the street, picking up her clothes. A good Samaritan found the girl and brought her to two school safety agents in a nearby park, who notified police. She is now in the custody of child protective services.

The place where she was found wasn't far from where her biological father lives, which may have motivated her mother and the boyfriend to dump her there, prosecutors say. According to the criminal complaint, Pamphile allegedly had left voicemails on the father's phone threatening to abandon the girl if he wasn't paid. Those messages also indicated the girl had no place to sleep.

“This mother is alleged to have abandoned her terrified youngster on a street corner with her clothes in a plastic bag and no regard for the child’s safety or well-being," Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement. "The defendant’s boyfriend allegedly participated in the crime and had complained about her ‘crying like a little b*tch.’"

Both Chambers and Pamphile were released on their own recognizance and are due back in court in August. They face up to four years in prison if convicted. It wasn't immediately clear if either defendant had an attorney.

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