New York City investigators are looking into the death of a 6-year-old Harlem boy, Zymere Perkins, who was beaten to death by his mother’s boyfriend, the NY Daily News is reporting. The boy’s mother, Geraldine Perkins, 26, told investigators that she did nothing when her boyfriend, Rysheim Smith, 42, pummeled her 6-year-old son to death.
Smith had flown into a rage when he found out that Zymere had defecated inside an ice-bucket. He had battered the boy with his fists and a wooden broomstick before leaving him dangling from a hook in the bathroom using his T-shirt.
The 26-year-old mother left the apartment with Smith to grab some lunch. By the time they returned, Zymere was dead.
Geraldine removed Zymere’s battered and bruised from the door and placed him on the bed, she then “went to get some rest and read the Bible.” Zymere was dead for hours before Geraldine Perkins decided to take him to the hospital. The final moments of the young boy has triggered an investigation into his death and whether prior child-care failures played a part in costing him his young life.
The death of the child, Monday once again questioned the efficacy of New York’s Administration for Children Services after a turbulent four months where the Department of Investigation highly criticized the agency. In 2014, Mayor de Blasio had promised groundbreaking reforms, after Myls Dobson, a 4-year-old girl was beaten to death.
“We can’t just stand by and mourn the losses, which are unbearable …we must do something about it.”
He has since admitted the failure of the system again with the death of 6-year-old Zymere Perkins.
“The bottom line is something needed to be done differently here. That’s just 100% obvious. We have to figure out what happened. We need to figure out if it was a specific missed opportunity or something systemic that we have to fix.”
De Blasio, a father of two said the unfortunate death of the Harlem boy affected him deeply. He compared the boy’s death to the January 2006 killing of Nixzmary Brown, a 7-year-old flogged to death by her dad. De Blasio said the ACS needed to do more and avoid cases falling through the cracks.
“This one really troubles me. A lot of different people were aware of this case, tried hard to get down to the bottom of it…but we did not succeed in saving this child, which is unacceptable to me.”
Gerald Perkins had been investigated five times for alleged child abuse, starting from June 2010. The latest query from the ACS was five months ago when a teacher had asked Zymere about the bruises on his leg, and he had said a cousin hit him with a scooter.
The boy later confided to authorities that his mother had beaten him with a belt. The mother was interviewed, she denied beating the boy. The case was closed 12 days after it was opened.
A neighbor, Bree Coates, said it was heartbreaking that Zymere’s young life was filled with so much pain and unhappiness.
“I don’t understand why nobody did nothing. How do you do that to a little boy? He was a sweet little boy.”
Coates said she contacted the city Administration for Children’s Services to save the boy, but her pleas were ignored. She said she also confronted Geraldine about how her son was being severely maltreated, and she was told to mind her business.
Coates recounted a time; the wicked couple left the sweet boy alone with drug addicts at a homeless shelter when they went partying. She also recalled a time when Smith hit the boy repeatedly with his fists with Geraldine Perkins choosing to look the other way.
Perkins pulled Zymere out of school and hardly took care of him. According to a former neighbor, Davana Miller, he was always unkempt, and his teeth were rotten out of his mouth. Miller said she had to leave the neighborhood after she washed and fed the little boy and the cruel couple got pissed and beat her to a pulp in front of her 1-year-old son.
Geraldine Perkins and Rysheim Smith were arraigned Wednesday night on charges of endangering the welfare of a child with bail set at $50,000. Authorities are waiting for autopsy results.
They are both due back in court October 3.
Remember to say a prayer for Zymere Perkins.
[Featured Image by Alexey R/iStock]