New York City Mayor Eric Adams spoke out on Monday, expressing his strong emotions towards the suspects accused of opioid exposure at a Bronx daycare. The incident unfortunately led to the death of one toddler and the hospitalization of three others. Adams passionately called for a “national assault” on the opioid epidemic, highlighting the severity of the situation.
Grei Mendez and Carlisto Acevedo Brito, who run a daycare centre, have been taken into custody on charges of murder, manslaughter, and assault. According to prosecutors, Nicholas Dominici, a 1-year-old child, died from their “reckless and depraved” actions. The accused have been ordered to be held without bail. This incident has led to shock and outrage among the community.
According to the authorities, the Friday incident resulted in the hospitalization of three other victims. Fortunately, they were treated with Narcan and are now recovering.
According to City Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan, the facility underwent a surprise inspection by city health inspectors on September 6, and no violations were found.
During a press conference on Monday evening, Vasan expressed regret that childcare inspectors are not trained to identify fentanyl. “I’m very sorry, but one of the things my childcare inspectors are not trained to do is look for fentanyl. But maybe they need to,” he stated.
During the news conference, Adams stood up for the health department and explained that they carried out all their duties regarding the daycare inspections. However, he also highlighted that the fentanyl crisis is rapidly expanding in the city and is affecting individuals from all walks of life.
He expressed his concern, “What are we doing to our children? Are we not taking enough measures to protect them as a society?” He was saddened by losing a child due to using a hazardous substance and believed it was complete madness.
During the press conference, the mayor displayed a visual aid that illustrated the lethal nature of fentanyl. The graphic featured a penny next to a minuscule amount of the drug, emphasizing that even the tiniest quantity could prove fatal to an adult. This stark reminder of the potency of fentanyl highlighted the urgent need for increased awareness and caution surrounding the use of this dangerous substance.
As he spoke, his words painted a vivid picture of the potential harm that could be inflicted upon a child. The impact was staggering, and the implications were deeply concerning. “Just think about the effect it could have,” he urged. The gravity of the situation was palpable, and his words struck a chord with all who listened.
According to Adams, the drugs entering the city are far more dangerous than their predecessors. These drugs should not be left lying around in people’s homes as they pose a significant risk to the health and safety of the community.
As per his statement, it is imperative to launch a complete national campaign against the influx of this drug into our city.
According to the mayor, the individuals responsible for the incident violated the trust people place in childcare providers.
As he expressed his disappointment, he highlighted the importance of trust in the relationship between parents and caregivers. “The safety of our children is of utmost concern, and we rely on caregivers to prioritize that. It’s disheartening to see that trust broken, especially when it has happened before,” he said.
During their arraignments on Sunday night, it was ruled by the judge that Mendez and Brito posed a risk of fleeing.
The judge’s decision to deny Mendez’s bail request was primarily due to her lack of citizenship, connections to the Dominican Republic, and the severity of the charges against her. The charges carry a possible life sentence, which makes the case exceptionally grave.
According to Mendez’s lawyer, she did not know about the drugs that were being kept in her daycare facility by Brito. Brito, who is Mendez’s husband’s cousin, was renting a room from Mendez for $200 a week.
According to attorney Andres Aranda, the only mistake made by his client was renting out her room to someone who had a kilo. He emphasized that there is no evidence to suggest that she did anything other than take proper care of the children.
According to the judge, Brito, who is from the Dominican Republic, currently resides in the country without legal permission and poses a risk of fleeing.
According to prosecutors, discovering a kilo of fentanyl in a hallway closet outside Brito’s room, dangerously close to where children often sleep, was a cause for concern. Additionally, Mendez was accused of contributing to this reckless and depraved act by renting out the room in the daycare. Police also found drug production equipment inside the daycare, raising alarms.
According to the police, it is suspected that the kids were exposed to fentanyl particles throughout the day on Friday, which they might have inhaled.
The officials are currently looking for Mendez’s spouse and are also interested in questioning him.
According to investigators, Mendez was in contact with her husband multiple times after the tragic incident on Friday afternoon.
During the initial confusion, video footage captured Mendez’s husband and other individuals fleeing the daycare with bags, as reported by the authorities.
According to officials, the daycare facility that caters to children aged six weeks to 12 years old commenced its operations in January.
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