Saturday, May 20, 2017

Slow Saturday Special: Son Snitches on Father

Proof that the DARE program is effective:

"Lawrence boy, who told police his father was selling drugs, sought help from DCF a year ago" by Nestor Ramos and John R. Ellement Globe Staff  May 19, 2017

LAWRENCE — An 11-year-old Lawrence boy who called police this week when he found what appeared to be drugs in his father’s bag had previously called the Department of Children and Families for help with his father a year earlier, according to a police report.

The boy’s father, identified as 40-year-old Yamil Mercado, was arraigned Friday in Lawrence District Court on charges of reckless endangerment of a child and trafficking in more than 200 grams of illegal drugs.

Mercado surrendered to police Thursday, a day after his 11-year-old son called police to report he and a 13-year-old cousin had discovered what they thought were drugs in his father’s luggage, police wrote in a report. The child also told police he’d just returned home from school when he thought he saw his father complete a drug deal.

The results of the contact between the child and DCF were not immediately clear. A DCF spokeswoman said the department could not comment on the case because of state and federal confidentiality laws.

Police said they had searched the child’s grandmother’s home after the grandmother, who speaks primarily Spanish, signed a consent form printed in Spanish.

Police seized 212 grams of suspected heroin and fentanyl packed in plastic bags from the man’s luggage with an estimated street value of $8,500, police said.

Outside the home Friday, a woman who identified herself as Mercado’s sister said the family was suffering. Their mother is ill, she said, and embarrassed about what happened. Her nephew, she said, is doing fine. “He [Mercado] is not mentally sane right now,” the woman said.

The boy told police he knew his father was a drug dealer, and had been convicted in the past, according to a police report. But court records show the only previous drug charges against Mercado were eventually dismissed.

Mercado was arrested in 2013 when police, conducting surveillance of a suspected drug operation, pulled him over for having an expired driver’s license. As police approached the car, they allegedly saw Mercado shoving small amounts of plastic-wrapped heroin into his mouth. Mercado spit them out, according to a police report, and police ultimately found 16 plastic “twists” in the car.

One drug charge was dismissed, but Mercado admitted to the facts of another. In exchange, the case was continued without a finding and was ultimately dismissed when Mercado complied with court orders.

In court, Brendan Kelley, a public defender assigned to represent Mercado, said Mercado’s life had taken a hard turn after a contested divorce. Probate court records show he was married to the boy’s mother, Scarlet Jimenez, in New Hampshire in 2003. The couple had two children, but in a 2011 affidavit, Jimenez filed for a restraining order after Mercado allegedly threatened her with a knife and accused her of going out to a club when she returned home late one night.

The couple divorced in 2014, and the last available court records show Jimenez had primary custody of the children. It was not clear how the boy came to stay with Mercado. Nobody answered the door at Jimenez’s apartment Friday, and she did not return a call.

In a telephone interview, Lawrence Police Chief James Fitzpatrick said the suspected drugs posed a life-threatening risk to the child, who is now living at an “undisclosed location’’ in the city where police are watching over him.

It's social work now.

“I think he is very courageous and brave for doing that,’’ said Fitzpatrick. He said it was the first time he’d seen someone report a parent to police for dealing drugs.

“We know that it was difficult for him, but it was for the best,’’ Fitzpatrick said....


"Seekonk day-care worker charged with assaulting child" by Andrew Grant Globe Correspondent  March 10, 2017

A former day-care worker was charged with assault after she allegedly dropped a 17-month-old girl onto the metal framing of a cot, Seekonk police said.

Crystal Salisbury, 33, of Riverside, R.I., was working at the Briarwood Child Academy Tuesday when she dropped the child from several inches onto a cot. The toddler’s face hit the aluminum frame, resulting in “visible injury to the bridge of the nose,” said Craig Mace, the police chief in Seekonk.

Another staff member alerted the authorities. Salisbury was fired on the spot and had left the day-care center by the time police arrived, Mace said.

In a statement, the president of Briarwood Child Academy, Peter Sangermano, said, “As soon as the incident was brought to our attention, we communicated directly with the family involved, as well as our state licensing agencies. The teacher involved was terminated immediately. We are fully cooperating with authorities in their investigation.”

Officers interviewed Salisbury. She was cooperative throughout the process, Mace said. Salisbury was charged with assault and battery on a child with injury, even though officers did not believe the injury was intentional.

The toddler was taken to Hasbro Children’s Hospital for treatment. Salisbury will be arraigned in Taunton District Court at a later date.


Job is not done yet.