Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Father of 2 Drowned in Tub Files Claim Against Nassau Agencies, Asserting Neglect

MINEOLA, N.Y. — The father of two of the three children who the police say were killed by their mother in February said on Tuesday that he has filed a claim against several Nassau County agencies, contending they failed to investigate complaints that she abused and neglected the children.

“All I wanted was for me to see them and watch them grow up,” said the father, Innocent Demesyeux. “I think of everything I wanted to do with them, and I didn’t have enough time.”

The mother, Leatrice Brewer, was charged with murdering her daughter, Jewell Ward, 6, and two sons, Michael Demesyeux, 5, and Innocent Demesyeux, 18 months, on Feb. 24.

All three children were drowned in their bathtub inside their home in New Cassel. The police said Ms. Brewer had told them that she stabbed Jewell to subdue her before drowning her.

Two days before the children were killed, Mr. Demesyeux complained to the Nassau County Department of Child Protective Services that while he was visiting her home on Feb. 22, Ms. Brewer was behaving bizarrely and threatening to harm her children.

A caseworker was sent to investigate that day but found no one home.

A second caseworker, dispatched that night, was also unable to get into the apartment. A night supervisor, Eddie Arredondo, scheduled another visit for two days later instead of ordering a follow-up visit the next day, a Saturday.

The claim does not specify how much money Mr. Demesyeux wants from the county, but asks for punitive as well as actual damages.

Mr. Demesyeux’s lawyer, Sanford Pirotin, said he also expected to file a claim, formally called a notice of claim, against Nassau County. Such claims are a required prelude to suing a government agency.

Although the claim names several county agencies, including the Department of Social Services and the police, it singles out Protective Services, which it accuses of failing to follow appropriate procedures to investigate at least nine calls to the agency’s hot line, made by either Mr. Demesyeux or Ms. Brewer’s family members. It also names Mr. Arredondo, who was suspended indefinitely without pay.

Original Article-

Father of 2 Drowned in Tub Files Claim Against Nassau Agencies, Asserting Neglect - New York Times

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