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A 20-year-old St. Albans man was charged with murder last week after he allegedly told his 7-month-old son to “toughen up” because the boy was crying and then punched him in the chest in what turned out to be a fatal blow, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Brown said 20-year-old Larry Greene of 194-57 115th Drive was the ninth person in Queens accused of assaulting or killing their child in the last five months.
“The fragility of a small child cannot be emphasized enough,” the DA said, noting that April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. “There is no excuse for these senseless attacks. The defendants in these cases must be severely punished.”
Greene was arraigned last week in Queens Criminal Court on murder charges and held without bail, Brown said. He faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted, the DA said.
At around 5:30 p.m. April 13, Greene was baby-sitting his 7-month-old son, Xiah Greene, while the infant’s mother, Cassandra Nadi, 17, left to go to school, Brown said.
Xiah began to cry when his mother left the house and Greene allegedly got angry because he believed the baby preferred Cassandra to him, the DA said.
Greene is accused of telling his infant son to “toughen up” and forcefully punching him in the chest, which caused the baby to stop breathing, Brown said.
Greene then took the baby to New York Hospital Queens, where he initially told doctors he had dropped the baby, the DA said.
Xiah was pronounced dead later that night, Brown said.
An examination by the city medical examiner’s office found Xiah had suffered a number of injuries, including bruising on the scalp and neck, an abrasion on his lip and a cluster of five bruises on his chest consistent with knuckle marks, Brown said.
Cassandra’s father declined to talk to a reporter Saturday.
The incident comes after the alleged April 5 murder of little Mario Patrice, an 8-month-old Arverne boy who died from Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Mario’s father, 24-year-old Saul Cortez of 87-10 Rockaway Beach Blvd., was charged with assault April 6, but Brown said the charge will be upgraded after the baby died at Schneider Children’s Hospital April 9.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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