[Editor’s Note: The names of the arrested people have been removed from this article.]
A New Canaan mom on a Friday last month stuck her finger down one of her children’s throats four or five times, inducing the juvenile to throw up blood after ingesting one of her pills, according to an arrest warrant application.
Captured on a housemaid’s audio recording whose handling as key evidence is being questioned by a lawyer for the Briscoe Road woman, the incident led to the Sept. 25 arrest of both mother and father on felony charges.
In the recording, the child is “crying, coughing and making gag-like vomiting sounds,” according to the affidavit of New Canaan Police Officer Nick Falbo. His testimony forms the basis for an arrest warrant application, signed by the state’s attorney and a judge, charging the parents with risk of injury.
Relatives identified the couple as the voices of a man and woman in the audio recording, one of two that New Canaan’s police chief sent to investigators on Sept. 18, according to Falbo’s affidavit.
“In the recording, the woman stated to the man ‘That pill puts people out for days,’ ” the arrest warrant application said. “The woman also stated to the man that she put her finger down the child’s throat four or five times. The man asked the woman if the child threw up, and the woman responded that the child ‘Threw up blood.’ The woman expressed that the child most likely found the pill in a telephone case. She stated to the man, ‘I bet you there are pills everywhere.’ ”
The child was not taken to a hospital though the child began “turning red and getting a fever,” according to the maid’s testimony, cited in the police affidavit. Relatives of the the couple interviewed by police said the woman may receive drugs from overseas, including Tremadol, the arrest warrant application said. That’s a highly addictive narcotic used to treat pain.
The information in the arrest warrant application—the audio recordings and testimony of firsthand abuse (in a separate incident, the woman is accused of biting her child’s neck—her lawyer said it was a bee sting) originates entirely from the maid. NCPD Officer Sebastian Obando interviewed her in her native language of Spanish, the affidavit said.
Stamford-based criminal defense attorney Mark Sherman, the couple’s lawyer, recently filed a motion to preserve evidence on his clients’ behalf. It calls for Police Chief Leon Krolikowski and several other people, including a woman identified as a sister-in-law of the woman and her relatives, to preserve personal cellphone records, emails and texts, among other correspondence and records.
A footnote in the motion says, “Chief Leon Krolikowski is family related to the Defendants” and “assisted in providing surreptitious audio recordings to New Canaan Police of one or more of the Defendants and their children, without their knowledge or consent.”
“The legality of these recordings—as well as the distribution of these recordings by Chief Krolikowski—will be addressed with the Court at the appropriate time in these proceedings,” the motion said.
Asked by NewCanaanite.com what he believes to be the familial relationship between the police chief and the defendants, Sherman said Krolikowski’s wife’s uncle is brothers-in-law with the woman’s aunt.
Krolikowski when reached by NewCanaanite.com denied that he is related to the couple.
Sherman issued via email the following statement questioning the chief’s involvement in the case: “This case screams conflict of interest. When a police chief who is related by marriage to a suspect inserts himself into an investigation, it raises a slew of questions about the integrity of that investigation. Everyone knows there is a family feud going on, and when a police chief collects evidence obtained by eavesdropping nannies, personally calls DCF, sends 5 officers to the suspects’ home, and appears to not have filed a single police report about any of this, you have to wonder if this is a fair fight. It’s not. There was no child abuse. This couple loves and lives for their children. If there’s any abuse in this case, it could be DCF and police abuse of power.”
The involvement of the ‘DCF’ or state Department of Children and Families is what prompted police to contact the couple, according to the affidavit.
At 11:20 a.m. on Sept. 17, a DCF worker phoned police to request a “welfare check” at the their home.
There, police found the family including two children and both “appeared to be well taken care of,” Falbo said in the affidavit. Police said they were there to follow up regarding an incident from March. During the visit, Obando spoke to the maid, asking “if she was aware of any drug activity at the residence,” the application said.
The woman “stated she knows that Tina does drugs, and stated that they are pills,” the application said. “And stated she’s noticed Tina receiving these drugs via mail.”
While gathering that information, police also found the house to be clean and in order, though according to testimony that Falbo cited in the affidavit, “after the officers left… Tina threatened Ana [the maid] that if any more issues occurred she would call immigration.”
The husband and wife each were released on $50,000 bond. They are to be arraigned Dec. 16, according to Connecticut Judicial Branch records.
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