The mother of an 11-year-old boy found gravely injured in a Toronto west-end apartment has been charged with attempted murder.
Toronto police said they responded to a 911 call just before 1 a.m. Friday to a high-rise building near Bloor Street West and Hwy. 427. The child was found with severe head and neck injuries and an ambulance rushed him to hospital. Constable Tony Vella said a household item had been used as a weapon.
The 32-year old mother has also been charged with aggravated assault and failing to provide the necessities of life. Police are not releasing the mother's name to protect the identity of the child.
Constable Vella said there were other children in the home who will be transferred to the care of the Children’s Aid Society.
Residents in the building said they were surprised to hear the news of what happened last night. Red tape has replaced the glass door of the front lobby which emergency responders had to break through because the lobby was closed.
Kumar Ramachandran said he was woken by shouts and screaming around 1 a.m. from the apartment two doors down on the 12th floor. He didn’t step outside because the sounds made him afraid, he said.
Mr. Ramachandran said this is not the first time he has heard arguments coming through the door of his neighbour’s flat. But the sounds last night: “Oh, that was bad, very bad,” he said. “I live next door and you can imagine how loud it was.”
Mr. Ramachandran said it sounded as if things were being thrown around, he heard the mother swearing and yelling, “Leave,” and the little boys saying “No” repeatedly. At one point, he heard one very loud thud, louder than the other sounds.
The apartment was occupied by a woman and her two sons, ages 11 and 9, and her daughters who are 15 and 17 years old, said Mr. Ramachandran, who added the children often came over to his place to play Wii games with his daughters.
Mr. Ramachandran said the children seemed happy. He would often see the boys take out the trash and go grocery shopping on their own. On weekdays, he said he would see the children wait after school for an hour or two outside the apartment for their mother to open the door.
“They are good kids,” said Mr. Ramachandran, adding that the family had moved less than three years ago from Alberta where the father works. The parents are originally from Jamaica, he said.
Catharine Antle, another neighbour on the 12th floor where the mother was arrested, said she had just gone out for a coffee around 1 a.m. When she returned, four police officers got on the elevator with her. She said she thought there had been a minor dispute when the officers got off the elevator on the same floor as her.
A short while later, she saw police taking a woman away in a white bathrobe and handcuffs.
With files from Ann Hui