The Administration for Children's Services is being probed by the city's Department of Investigation after three-year-old Jaden Jordan was found badly beaten in Brooklyn with a serious brain injury. The agency confirmed that it got a tip about an abused child over the weekend, but received the wrong address (the neighboring home)—and only found Jaden's family on Monday when 911 was called because the child had sustained a serious head injury.
Jaden's mother's boyfriend, Salvatore Lucchesse, who had been babysitting alone, has been charged with assault and child endangerment. His lawyer told the court that Lucchesse performed CPR after Jaden fell in the shower: "My client did what any concerned person would do and he tried to provide immediate care to this child. What happened to this child is completely, medically and scientifically consistent with a completely innocent explanation."
Jaden is on life support at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital; according to the NY Post, a doctor from the hospital said the boy is "'in grave condition and likely to die.' The court papers outline Jaden’s horrific injuries, which include a lacerated liver 'consistent with an acute blow to the abdomen' and an injury to the brain 'consistent with suffocation, strangulation and shaking.'... the injuries 'were not of an accidental nature, but an inflicted nature.'"
The Daily News had initially reported that ACS received a tip about an allegedly abused girl, but the address was the home that Jaden's family shared a porch with in Gravesend, Brooklyn. Jaden's father raged, "If somebody calls you, you just don’t go, ‘Oh, I got the wrong house’ and forget about it. Do your job!" From the News:
ACS said a child protective specialist was dispatched to Brooklyn within two hours of the Saturday call about the mistreatment of the preschooler — allegedly at the hands of his mother’s boyfriend.
“After two days of diligently and aggressively investigating the complaint, it became clear ... that the caller reported an inaccurate address,” the ACS explained in a statement.
“We then promptly responded to the location in question and began what is now a highly active investigation.”
Apparently the tipster said that the child was being kept in a cage; a cage and pitbull were found in the home.
Sources tell the News that Lucchesse "has four prior arrests and was named in a dozen NYPD domestic incident reports... None of those incidents involved Jaden or his mother, Raven Haynes, 24, the sources said. But there were four reports involving the same woman, including one charge that Lucchesse violated an order of protection."
In May, the Department of Investigations issued a report finding major flaws with ACS procedures. Yesterday, DOI Commissioner Mark G. Peters said that his office asked the NY State Office of Children and Family Services "for access to records from the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) regarding Jaden Jordan, the three-year old who suffered life-threatening injuries earlier this week."
The DOI had given ACS 30 days to address the flaws cited in May, but it reportedly never did. In September, it was revealed that six-year-old Zymere Perkins died after his stepfather allegedly beat him, even though the ACS had investigated his family numerous times.