Child on life support after incident in W. Philly

July 13, 2011 5:49:49 PM PDT
A young boy is on life support after suffering injuries in an unspecified incident inside a West Philadelphia apartment building.

Officers say they got a call from the boy's legal guardian late Wednesday morning. They responded around noon to an apartment building in the 4700 block of Chestnut Street where they found the boy unconscious.

Police say they did find blood on the steps of the fourth floor where the boy lived with his guardian. Police say she told them the boy had fallen and she couldn't get him to wake up.

At the hospital, doctors found evidence of previous injuries on the boy.

Throughout the day, police were in and out of the apartment building trying to figure out what happened to the 3-year-old boy.

Neighbor Haakim Bragton says the woman knocked on his door to use his phone after help had arrived.

"She said he had fell down some steps and he wasn't breathing right. She was panicking," said Bragton.

Bragton went on to say he saw EMTs rushing the boy's limp body to the ambulance. Police say doctors have been working on the child at Children's Hospital and he remains in critical condition.

"I have a son myself, my son will be 8 this year, and I couldn't imagine if my son would fall or something would happen to him where he would have to go into the hospital," Bragton said.

Police questioned Bragton and his roommate, Hasan Malik, who told them he heard the child being physically punished several times in the past few weeks. Malik said, this week, he was planning to contact DHS after speaking to his landlord.

"I wish I would have reacted sooner. I did what I thought was appropriate and polite, I guess, but it wasn't enough," said Malik.

? Police would only say the allegations are under investigation. They would not say if they are working this case as possible child abuse.

No one has been arrested or charged and no names have been released.

? "We're holding the house, we're checking it out. SVU will be the initial investigators and found out what really happen after interviewing the guardian, who was looking after the child," said Capt. David Bell of the Philadelphia Police.

Action News has learned the mother is currently in a shelter with her other children. Detectives had told Action News earlier in the day the boy had previously been in DHS custody, but later said there was only a prior complaint.