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Cops: NYC Homeless Man Slammed Boy on His Head

'Kill the kid,' mentally ill suspect reportedly uttered
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2019 7:58 AM CDT
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/SergeyIT)

(Newser) – A New York City homeless man with a history of mental illness is accused of picking up a young boy and slamming him on his head, causing brain hemorrhaging. Grandfather Naftali Portnoy explains the boy, variously described as age 6 or 7, was with his 10-year-old brother outside of Portnoy's home in the Kew Gardens area of Queens just before 5pm Monday, waiting for a pizza to arrive, when "this emotionally deranged individual came into my driveway, picked up my grandson and slammed him to the ground," per ABC News. Alerted to the scene by a scream, Portnoy says he called 911, then tailed the shirtless suspect for at least two blocks until police arrived.

"When I followed him he was screaming something. When the cops pulled up he said, 'I'm bipolar,'" Portnoy tells the New York Daily News. The man also said "something about 'kill the kid,'" Portnoy tells CBS New York. An ambulance whisked the injured boy to Cohen Children's Medical Center. ABC reports he's in critical but stable condition following treatment for hemorrhaging to the brain as well as facial injuries. The suspect, identified as 35-year-old Laurance Gendreau, also visited a hospital, where he underwent a mental health evaluation. Arrested for assault in January, per the New York Post, Gendreau faces new charges of assault and harassment. (A man is in custody in a series of homeless murders.)

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