Girl, 10, kills 3-month-old infant

Also: Parents shackle teenager to chair for 6 months... and more

US: A 10-year-old girl was charged Thursday with manslaughter in the death of a 3-month-year-old infant whose mother said the baby had ingested medication and been suffocated.
 
The girl, who is not being identified, is the youngest person to be charged with manslaughter in Maine in at least 25 years. The infant, Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway, of Clinton in central Maine, had been left overnight with an adult baby sitter in nearby Fairfield.
 
The sitter called police early July 8 to report that the infant was not breathing, authorities said. Emergency workers who arrived minutes later reported that child was unresponsive.
 
The death of any child under age 3 triggers an automatic investigation in Maine, and detectives uncovered some "troubling signs" before the state medical examiner declared the death a homicide, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.
 
The death was declared a homicide Wednesday, but investigators withheld further details on the cause of death.
 
Brooklyn's mother, Nicole "Nicki" Greenaway, of Clinton, said the 10-year-old was the sitter's daughter. Authorities told her the baby had ingested medication to treat attention-deficit disorder and been suffocated, she said, adding that she also saw bruises on her daughter's body.
 
"I feel a little bit of relief that they're charging her daughter at this point, but the mom really needs to be responsible. She's the one I left my daughter with," Greenaway said.
 
The 10-year-old girl was already in the custody of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services when a summons was delivered to her attorney on Thursday, McCausland said.
 
Police declined to identify the girl, who is due in juvenile court in October. Her attorney didn't immediately return a call from The Associated Press.
 
Greenaway said that the 10-year-old had changed her baby's diaper in the past, but that she had told the sitter an adult needed to be present at all times. Instead, the infant, who was reportedly fussy that night, was sleeping in a portable crib in the same room as the 10-year-old, Greenaway said.
 
When Greenaway finally saw her daughter at a funeral home, the infant had a black eye, bruises on the bridge of her nose and marks that looked like fingerprints on her cheeks, she said.
 
McCausland said he couldn't comment on whether charges could be brought against the sitter. A person who answered the phone at a listing for her said Thursday evening that she was not available. The AP is not naming the sitter because it could make the juvenile suspect's identity known.
 
The charge against the 10-year-old was filed after detectives consulted with the attorney general's office, which determined manslaughter was most appropriate, said Brenda Kielty, a spokeswoman.
 
Unlike murder, which generally involves an intentional act, manslaughter charges are brought when a homicide is caused by reckless actions or criminal negligence.
 
The charge is extremely unusual because of the defendant's age.
 
The state doesn't have data on the youngest person ever to be charged in a homicide in Maine, Kielty said. But it's been at least 25 years - and possibly longer - since someone so young has been charged with manslaughter or murder in the state, officials said.
 
Nonetheless, such cases aren't unprecedented.
 
In January, a 10-year-old was taken into custody after a 12-year-old was stabbed to death in El Cajon, California. And a Florida boy was convicted in 2001 of killing a 6-year-old playmate when he was 12. (AP)

Delhi hospitals hire bouncers to deter attacks

NEW DELHI: Pradeep Kumar, a muscular man in shades and tattoos, pulls up on a motorcycle, ready for his job as a bouncer. Not at a nightclub, but at another workplace where violence is common in India: a hospital.

He and his burly colleagues keep the emergency and labour rooms from filling up with patients' often agitated relatives and friends. The bouncers are polite, yet so tough-looking that people think twice about ignoring their orders.

"These guys look like they walked right out of an action movie," said Pawan Desai, who brought his 4-year-old daughter to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital for treatment for a cut on her hand.

Working in an Indian hospital can be dangerous. In April, a week before DDU hired the bouncers, friends of an emergency-room patient punched a doctor in the face and broke his nose before going on a rampage with hockey sticks, swinging at windows, lights, furniture and medical staff.

The medical staff at DDU, a government hospital, had faced nearly one attack a month and had gone on strike 20 times over six years demanding better security. Since the hospital replaced its middle-aged, pot-bellied guards with bar bouncers, bodyguards, and wrestlers sporting muscles and tattoos, "there hasn't been a single incident," said Dr. Nitin Seth, the doctor who was injured in April.

"These guys do a good job controlling the crowds," he said.

Thousands of attacks occur in Indian hospitals every year, said Dr. Narendra Saini, spokesman for the Indian Medical Association.

In January, a man in the southern city of Chennai was charged with using a sword to hack to death a surgeon he held responsible for his pregnant wife's death during surgery. Three months later, a mob at a Delhi hospital beat up six doctors in retaliation for supposed sexual misconduct after the medical staff unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate a female patient using CPR.

When someone dies in the hospital, relatives often start blaming - even attacking - doctors. At expensive private hospitals, families feel especially cheated, Saini said. "They expect their patient to live because that's what they paid for."

The DDU Hospital guards, a team of 21 split across three shifts, cover the busiest areas of the campus, especially the emergency and labor rooms.

People who come in with pregnant or trauma patients "are most likely to lose their cool," Kumar said. "That's why we try not to let in more than one per patient."

The only way to prevent a bad situation from getting worse is to keep people moving and not let crowds collect at all, said Dr. Promila Gupta, the hospital's medical superintendent. "I think what works for our new guards is that the (patients') relatives are afraid of them because of their good physique," she said.

Despite the tough image, Kumar and the other guards are a soft-spoken bunch. "We don't let anyone in unless they need to be there, and we know how to be polite about it," he said.

"First we talk nice," said bouncer Amarjeet Singh. "If they don't listen, troublemakers are taken to the Casualty Medical Officer's room to sort things out, and if that doesn't work, police from the nearby post are called in to get them evicted.

"In any case, we are not allowed to rough anyone up," he added.

Few Indian hospitals can afford this kind of security. The generally overcrowded and understaffed government facilities often don't even have the resources they need to save lives, said Dr. Saini of the Indian Medical Association.

Dr. Prithvi Madhok, a former surgeon at some of Mumbai's top hospitals, has studied the rash of doctor assaults in India and said hiring better security will not solve the underlying problem.

"As a society, we are just not trained to be patient. We don't wait for our turn, or let things go through their due process," he said.

Madhok said patients or their attendants turn violent because they think they can get away with it. Attacking a doctor might be a serious crime, "but in my several years of practice, I have never seen anyone get booked for it," he said.

Seth, the DDU doctor, is glad that the new guards are serving as a deterrent.

"These guys save lives too," he said. "Just as doctors here are always ready to save a patient, these bouncers are here to save us doctors." (AP)

Man hit by rollercoaster dies

JAPAN: A  maintenance worker at an amusement park in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, died a painful death when he was stuck between a running roller coaster and a rail.

The 48-year-old man was hard at work about 50 metres away from the departure platform of the ride, reports Relax.com.sg

The roller coaster, comprising six cars reaches a top speed of 65kph, said the website.The three primary schoolchildren who were enjoying their ride till the accident occurred on Saturday afternoon were unhurt.

Investigation is on to find out why he was carryng maintenance work while the roller coaster was running.

Parents shackle teenager to chair for 6 months

US: Investigators say a Southern California couple has been jailed for shackling their teenage son to a chair in the living room each night for about six months.
 
San Bernardino County sheriff's investigators say the 17-year-old boy is in good health and he's in the custody of a family member.
 
Sgt. Jason Radeleff tells KCDZ radio that the boy told a family member that his parents had handcuffed him and pinned him with padlocked chains to a chair in the living room of the family home in desert Twentynine Palms.
 
The teen was released each morning.
 
Deputies arrested his 63-year-old mother Virginia Smith on Thursday. The boy's father Douglas Smith surrendered on Saturday.
 
They were booked for investigation of child cruelty. They are in jail with bail set at $100,000 each. (AP)

Woman mistakes husband for intruder, kills him

US: A woman shot and killed her husband after mistaking him for an intruder.
 
Police say the 53-year-old woman shot the 57-year-old man Monday, shortly after 11 am at their home in the city's Lower 9th Ward.
 
Neither the name of the victim or his wife was released, pending notification of other family members.
 
No charges have been filed.
 
Police say the case will be turned over to the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office for review. (AP)

(Home page image courtesy Shutterstock)

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