Cops: Babysitter Struck, Killed Infant
RIVERSIDE, N.Y. (WPIX) – A man is accused of fatally striking a 17-month-old infant he was babysitting Sunday night on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation on Long Island, according to New York State police.
The suspect has been identified as Pedro Jones, 20, of South Hampton. He has been charged with first-degree manslaughter after allegedly hitting the boy “several times throughout his body with close fists” and grabbed him by the neck, according to the felony complaint filed by police.
Authorities say Jones also told them, “I was trying to make him act like a boy instead of a little girl. I never struck that kid that hard before.”
The infant, Roy A. Jones, was reportedly found in cardiac arrest and was rushed to Southampton Hospital where he died around 8:30 p.m.
“I just found out my Grandson died last night that’s all I know,” Donna Collins Smith.told PIX 11 News.
Police said Jones, who is not a member of the Shinnecock nation but lives on the reservation, is the boyfriend of the baby’s mother.
“He infiltrated my family through our trust, through the heart of my daughter and then stole the life of her child,” said the baby’s grandfather Daniel Collins. “I hope the justice system turns around and steals his.”
Jones pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Monday at Southampton Town Justice Court. He is currently being held without bail at Suffolk County jail.
Additional charges or the current charge could be upgraded pending the completion of the investigation, police said.