A New York City man was arrested last week and charged with killing his girlfriend’s baby son after police say he admitted that he “mushed” the child because his incessant crying was “irking” him.
According to a report from The New York Times, officers with the New York City Police Department responded to a 911 call about an unresponsive baby at the Webster House, located at 420 E. 169th Street in the Bronx, at approximately 3 p.m. on Thursday. First-responders reportedly found the child, 1-year-old Legacy Beauford, unconscious in a bedroom inside the home and tried to perform life-saving procedures before rushing him to the nearby Bronx Care Health System, where he was pronounced dead.
The apartment was shared by Legacy’s mother, Jessica Melendez, and her boyfriend, 23-year-old Keishawn Gordon.
Detectives questioned Gordon, who was babysitting the child overnight, asking him about the extensive bruising on the child’s body. Per a copy of the criminal complaint obtained by The Times, Gordon initially told investigators that all he did was squeeze the toddler’s stomach gently and toss him up and down to try and get him to stop crying. But investigators continued to press Gordon, who eventually admitted that he punched the crying baby and sexually assaulted him.
“I was frustrated he wouldn’t stop crying. He kept throwing up,” Gordon said, according to the complaint. “I mushed him. He was irking me.”
A New York City medical examiner told police that Legacy’s cause of death was a lacerated liver that caused the baby to internally bleed to death. Legacy, who was born in August 2020, also had bruises covering him body and face as well as multiple broken ribs.
Beauford’s death has brought increased scrutiny on the city’s child welfare services after it was reported that at least three 911 calls had been placed since May 27 concerning a child crying at the toddler’s household. Two of those calls included reports of possible child abuse, but responding officers said they did not see any visible markings or bruising on the child.
The Times additionally reported that on July 14, a detective with the NYPD’s Special Victims Unit and social workers were tasked with investigating a tip that Legacy’s older brother was a victim of ongoing sexual abuse. The investigation was closed before police interviewed or examined either child, a person briefed on the case told the paper.
The NYPD did not immediately respond to emails from Law&Crime seeking details about why the abuse investigation was closed without questioning the possible victim.
The New York Post reported that Gordon had previously been arrested 18 times, seven of which were for felonies.
He was charged with felony assault in 2018 for allegedly grabbing a woman by the neck and slamming her to the floor and robbery in 2019.
The NYPD asked that anyone with information related to Legacy’s death call the department’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1–800–577–TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1–888–57–PISTA (74782). Tips can also be submitted online through the Crime Stoppers‘ website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
[image via NYPD]
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