Police Warrant Reveals New Details in Widely Discussed Arrest of New Canaan Woman on Risk of Injury Charge


The 45-year-old New Canaan woman arrested last month in a widely discussed incident told police she would “raise hell” if the state Department of Children and Families came to her house, records show.

According to a New Canaan Police Department arrest warrant application obtained by NewCanaanite.com, the woman—whose 8-year-old daughter sustained a head injury while at home alone —arrived on scene while EMTs evaluated the girl. 

“When asked to come speak with us about the situation, [the woman] immediately became defensive and asked ‘am I getting arrested?’ ” according to the arrest warrant application filed by NCPD Officer Joseph Schinella and signed by state Superior Court Judge John Blawie.

“[The woman] stated that she always leaves Juvenile 1 home alone without an adult supervisor when she runs errands,” it continued. “[The woman] stated she didn’t know leaving her 8 year old child at home was an issue and that when [she herself] was 6 years old she had the keys to her house. [The woman] stated that she would ‘raise hell’ if DCF came to her house.”

Police arrested the Cecil Place woman on a felony charge of risk of injury to a child. According to the arrest warrant, cooperating with DCF is one condition of her release. 

The arrest has stirred wide discussion in New Canaan, prompting some to launch a petition and attend a local presentation that addressed the topic of leaving kids at home.

The woman is being represented by the Stamford-based Law Offices of Mark Sherman LLC.

Asked about the case, Sherman said, “I think what the government does not understand is that this was an accident, not a crime. And it’s a complete stretch of an arrest and it’s unfortunate that someone had to be arrested for what clearly was an accident. There’s no set age limit to leaving your child at home alone, and there is nothing in this case to suggest that this child was ever in danger. This was a straight-up accident.”

The incident began to unfold at about 3:15 p.m. on Aug. 23 (a Tuesday), when the woman phoned police headquarters to report that her 8-year-old daughter had hit her head and was bleeding from it, the arrest warrant application said. 

The woman “stated that Juvenile 1 was home alone,” Schinella said in his affidavit. “Juvenile 1 had contacted her mom from the house phone then ran across the street to her neighbor’s house for help.”

On arrival, police saw the child across the street in the neighbor’s yard, with the neighbor, “holding a white towel to her head that was covered in blood,” the affidavit said.

The girl’s “body was covered in her own blood that appeared to be coming from the left side of the top of her head,” it said. She “was crying hysterically” and the blood “was controlled within a few minutes of my arrival by applying pressure” to the girl’s head with the towel, Schinella said in the affidavit. 

“There appeared to be a laceration/open wound on the left side of Juvenile 1’s head, just where the hairline started,” the affidavit said.

The child told police “that she hit her head on a sharp corner of a mirror frame located in a hallway between her and her mother’s bedroom,” it said. “The mirror is on the second floor of the house. Juvenile 1 stated that she was home alone when she hit her head and that there was still no one in her house at the time of my arrival.”

New Canaan Emergency Medical Services ended up transporting the child to Stamford Hospital.

Police found a “blood trail” at the house, the arrest warrant application said. 

“There was a bloody rag left in the garage along with multiple puddles of blood throughout the house leading all the way up the stairs to the second floor,” it said.

The woman is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 16 in state Superior Court, Connecticut Judicial Branch records show. She was released on a promise to appear.

6 thoughts on “Police Warrant Reveals New Details in Widely Discussed Arrest of New Canaan Woman on Risk of Injury Charge

  1. Instead of an 8 year old what would have happened if a 90 year old senior citizen was left alone and fell. They might not have been able to dial the phone or been mobile enough to cross street to neighbors. Would the person whose home the senior citizen was living in been arrested?
    The mistake the mother made was not bringing her attorney when asked by the police to come “speak about the situation”.

  2. Once again, this poor family is being dragged through the mud for what? For the NCPD to pat themselves on the back for ‘protecting our sweet town’ from the dangers of parenting?

    Did you fact check this? The child did not require stitches and even went to hockey practice the next day. Even a small amount of blood coming from a child’s head can seem frightening, and this child and her mother made sound decisions from the moment the child was left home armed with the knowledge of what to do in an emergency, to the child going to the neighbor for help, and the mom calling 9-1-1.

    As her attorney stated, “There’s no set age limit to leaving your child at home alone, and there is nothing in this case to suggest that this child was ever in danger. This was a straight-up accident.”

    When will the NCPD come forward to apologize? And when will the media figure out that it’s incredibly damaging for parents and their children to be faced with this scrutiny and malicious, sensationalist ‘reporting’?

    Enough is enough.

    • Well said, I couldn’t agree with you more! They are making this out to be a murder scene when it was a small cut in a place that happens to bleed a lot. “Blood Trail”…really??? It’s comical what a stretch this is. It’s unfair to punish somebody based on how they react in a stressful situation. She was clearly reaching out for help and got the exact opposite.

  3. How crazy have we become? A child hits her head and the mother’s going to be arrested? An 8 year old is perfectly capable of getting help, and she did. We are ruining our children’s sense of independence by continually hovering over them.

  4. The mother has been found innocent in the court of public opinion. The prosecutor should consider the unanimous community response to this incident as indicative of a jury’s likely verdict. Unless there are more facts here that haven’t been published, stop wasting everyone’s time and taxpayer money and drop the charges.

  5. Point taken, but conversely, the court of public opinion has been responsible for many a lynching. That’s why we rely on the legal process.

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