Police Left 12 Minutes After Responding to Call. A Child Died

Ayden Wolfe, 10, was beaten to death inside his New York City apartment the following day
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2021 4:00 AM CST
Police Left 12 Minutes After Responding to Call. A Child Died
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / carlballou)

Someone at a public-housing complex in Harlem called 911 on Friday afternoon, reporting banging, thuds, and screaming somewhere on the fourth floor. Police responded and checked out the hall and stairwell, listening at doors, for 12 minutes; they tried calling the number that made the 911 call, to no avail. Then they left, apparently without knocking on any doors. The following day, a 10-year-old boy was found unresponsive, naked and covered with bruises and cuts, on the floor of his apartment in the complex, the New York Times reports. Ayden Wolfe's ribs were broken, and his spleen, liver, and kidney were lacerated; he could not be revived. His mother's boyfriend has been arrested and charged with his murder. The person who called 911 reported hearing a man yelling threats, a woman begging him to stop, and a soft voice moaning, for about 40 minutes.

The next day, the same person heard similar sounds; police officers who responded that day found family members attempting CPR on the boy, CBS New York reports. Per the New York Daily News, it was the suspect himself who called police that afternoon after the boy lost consciousness. "To be clear, the person allegedly responsible for Ayden Wolfe’s death is Ryan Cato," the New York City police commissioner said Tuesday. "Nonetheless, I have directed the Office of the Chief of Department to review the police response on Friday to determine if the officers’ actions were consistent with all department procedures and whether our current procedures need to be revised." Prosecutors say the pandemic could have made signs of abuse easy to miss: Ayden had "been inside of that apartment for months without in-person interactions with teachers, counselors or school nurses," an assistant DA says. (More New York City stories.)

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