An upstate New York woman was charged in connection with a days-long series of brutal attacks against her 10-month-old son which ultimately caused him to suffer internal bleeding. The child survived, police said, and is being described by authorities as “the miracle baby.”
Samantha Valentine, 31, stands accused of three counts of attempted murder in the second degree, assault in the second degree, and endangering the welfare of a child, according to the Watervliet Police Department. She is currently being held without bail.
“Nothing impacts us more than abuse or maltreatment of children,” WPD Chief Joseph Centanni said during a Wednesday morning press conference. “In a sane world, parents are supposed to protect their children, not act as the source of monstrous behavior against them.”
According to a felony complaint obtained by local ABC affiliate WTEN, Valentine picked her infant up off of a changing table and threw him violently across the room. Investigators say the child’s head and face were injured as he hit the floor, causing his brain to bleed.
On Oct. 16, WPD officers arrived at Valentine’s residence in response to a complaint about a 10-month-old baby not breathing. The responding officer discovered “a child lying on his back in obvious distress,” the chief of police said. Life-saving measures were then initiated until medical help could arrive. At the hospital, police quickly ascertained that the infant’s injuries were “consistent with an assault.”
“The baby’s mother, Samantha L. Valentine, was responsible for several unimaginable attacks on this baby boy,” Centanni, who described the violence as “vicious,” alleged. “In addition, upon further observation of the house, it was determined to be grossly unsanitary and inhabitable. As a result, the house was condemned.”
Valentine was arrested and then charged and arraigned on Tuesday.
During the press conference, a reporter asked the chief to describe some of the attacks against the child. Centanni agreed before pausing for several seconds as he heavily drew in air and visibly teared up.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time,” he said. “What I will say is that through the investigation we have determined that there were a series of attacks on this child over a four-day period and quite candidly, I am not comfortable describing in detail the circumstances surrounding those attacks in public. And I’ll leave it at that.”
Valentine was previously charged with animal abuse in 2019. When asked to comment on that, Centanni demurred, saying he was “precluded” from doing so because of “due process” issues. The chief went on to note, however, that when the home was condemned, authorities found six ferrets, four cats, “a deceased squirrel” and an iguana-style lizard inside. The surviving animals are currently well and being taken care of by a local Humane Society, Centanni added.
According to authorities, there are no prior child abuse-related charges or incidents involving the defendant.
The baby boy is currently rehabilitating at the Albany Medical Center. Centanni said the victim was “doing better” but cautioned that a long-term prognosis was too soon to be offered at present.
“I have seen grown men and women that have been doing this for quite some time that have expressed similar emotion to me,” the chief went on to say. “[They] have been brought literally brought to tears.”
“I have seen many other children die from less abuse than what this poor baby endured,” Centanni added.
When pressed to describe some details of the child’s injuries, the chief added that the injuries were consistent with similar abuse situations he had seen in the past but noted that the child had suffered some internal bleeding. He added that police obtained video of the assaults and termed that alleged evidence “extremely extremely rare.”
According to police, someone else in the home dialed 911 based on an assault the morning of the 16th. The chief added that assaults took place at least four days in a row, beginning Oct. 13 and said no one else who lived in the home is suspected of any wrongdoing. He declined to comment when asked if the defendant has any other children.
“The defendant’s actions are unequivocal proof that monsters walk among us,” Centanni said in a press release early Tuesday. “The brutal way this baby was assaulted defies all decency and compassion.”
[image via Watervliet Police Department]
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