Saturday, June 30, 2012

Child Endangerment Among Charges Facing Mom Living In Abandoned Building In F'closure After 2-Year Old Son Falls Out 2nd Floor Window While Left Alone

In Chicago, Illinois, WLS-TV Channel 7 reports:

  • Police say a 2-year-old boy was alone when he fell from the second-floor window of an abandoned building on the city's Chicago Lawn neighborhood. His mother has been charged with child endangerment.

  • The child, who was found on the ground outside the building by a neighbor, survived the fall. He is hospitalized at Comer Children's Hospital. Family members say the boy is wearing a neck brace, but doctors told them he'd be OK.

  • The boy's mother, Venisha Carter, 22, faces misdemeanor charges, including one count of endangering the life and health of a child and one count of reckless conduct and bodily harm. Authorities say Carter and her son were living in that abandoned building with others. Her boyfriend said they moved into the abandoned building when they fell on hard times.
  • As many as 20 people were living in that building, sources say. County records indicate it is in foreclosure. [...] Those staying in the building were offered housing in shelters or transportation to get to relatives.

  • The owner of the building did not return ABC7's calls.(1) The former property manager said its company quit working at the building last year when the owner did not maintain financial commitments.

(1) If the city of Chicago has a local ordinance requiring window guards in multiple dwelling units, the landlord in foreclosure might also find himself/herself in hot water. Apparently, pre-school children falling out windows is not an uncommon occurrence in Chicago, as well as other big cities. See, for example, Pediatric window falls: not just a problem for children in high rises (Window falls are a frequent cause of injury (15/100,000) among Chicago preschool children. In Boston and New York, public health efforts have successfully decreased window fall injuries. [...] The median age was 2 years old.).

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