Police in New York City are investigating a horrific story that took place in Brooklyn over the weekend and has left a newborn and toddler with serious injuries. NYPD say that a 24-year-old mother threw her 1-month-old infant and 2-year-old son out the window of her apartment building on Saturday before jumping herself. Miraculously, all three survived, but still remain hospitalized.
The incident happened in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, shortly before 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.
There, just outside an apartment complex on Rockaway Parkway and Winthrop Street, officers with the NYPD were met by a harrowing scene.
Twenty-four-year-old Dejhanay Jarrell was found lying on the concrete sidewalk, alongside her 4-week-old daughter and her 2-year-old son. All three were found naked and badly injured before they were rushed to a nearby hospital.
As detectives worked to piece together what happened, the story that began to emerge grew more and more disturbing.
Jarrell is believed to have thrown her infant daughter out of her second-floor apartment first before doing the same to her 2-year-old son. Then, she jumped herself.
According to NBC News, the baby landed face down on the concrete and suffered serious injuries. As a result, she is still listed in critical condition. Jarrell and her son were also badly hurt in the fall, but their injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.
Meanwhile, traumatized neighbors could hardly believe what they’d just witnessed.
Shandie Harrison, who spoke with The Daily News on Saturday, said she heard screaming, followed by several “smashing” sounds, before she ran to see what happened.
What she ultimately discovered was probably worse than she could have imagined.
As it turned out, the loud “smashing” noises were the sounds of bodies hitting the ground. But the fact that two of the victims were so incredibly young made the sight all the more upsetting.
“We saw the newborn, we started screaming,” Harrison told the outlet. “It was three of them naked on the ground, the mom, the newborn baby, and another little child.”
Seeing that all three were alive and conscious *should* have brought the Brooklyn woman some comfort.
But just seconds later, Harrison watched in horror as the young mother suddenly grabbed her newborn by the leg and began to pound the child’s head into the ground.
Luckily, Harrison’s brother-in-law, Carl Chin, was nearby, and quickly scooped the baby up and out of harm’s way. He remained there, holding the newborn girl safely in his arms, until paramedics arrived and checked her vitals.
As Chin later told The Daily News, he actually arrived a few moments earlier than Harrison, and had witnessed the mother jump. He came running as soon as he’d heard the screaming start, and noticed they were followed by two “thumps.”
He saw the two children lying helpless on the pavement, but also saw their naked mother standing on the fire escape above.
Then, he watched the unthinkable happen.
“She was standing over the ledge, and she just jumped straight down,” Chin recalled.
When he saw the mother continuing to harm the baby, Chin sprang into action, leaping barefoot over a railing to pull the newborn to safety.
“She gripped the baby tight, so I kind of struggled with her to get the baby away from her,” he explained.
Luckily, he was able to wrestle the child from its mother, and dial 911.
According to Harrison, it was clear right away that the young mother was in deep emotional distress.
“The mom was asking for help,” Harrison told a reporter. “I can see that she was depressed. I think that she wanted to kill the baby, but she wasn’t in her right mind.”
According to reports, the baby is still listed in critical condition at Maimonides Medical Center, while her mother and brother are in stable condition at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center.
Tragically, this isn’t the first horrific crime to take place in the apartment complex.
According to The Daily News, a murder took place in the very same building — and perhaps in the same apartment — just 18 months ago.
In that case, the victim was a 33-year-old transgender woman named Yahir Nesby, who was fatally shot and killed in December 2019.
Though police later released surveillance footage of a suspect, no one was ever charged with the crime. At the time, the Human Rights Campaign noted that Nesby was the 25th transgender American to be killed that year and the 19th to die by gun violence.
In the meantime, Jarrell has landed herself in a world of trouble.
She now faces a slew of charges, including attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment, and acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17, according to multiple reports.
But people are already calling into question whether that’s truly the way this case should be handled.
“I’m not in agreement with that because like I said, this young lady needs medical help,” one of Jarrell’s neighbors told News 12. “She is mentally sick. You don’t put mentally sick people in jail. You don’t charge mentally sick people.”
Other witnesses seemed to agree.
Though Chin struggled to take the baby away from her mother, he said the woman ultimately seemed grateful.
“She even thanked me and told me to take care of her daughter,” she told CBS New York. “She was basically tired of being alone and not getting enough sleep.”
“She was asking for help,” added Harrison. “She asked my brother-in-law to take care of the baby.”
Though Jarrell’s mental health status remains unknown, the case does highlight how common PPD is in America.
According to the latest data, postpartum depression affects roughly 10 to 15% of new mothers, though the true stats may never be known, since many women never report or seek treatment for their depression. At the same time, experts believe that the pressures of the global health crisis, which have put added strain on the economy, personal relationships, and new parents, has likely caused these numbers to rise.
For now, Jarrell’s neighbors are just wishing her, and her babies, the best.
“I hope she gets the best help she can,” Harrison told CBS Local. “You know, a family member try to reach out to her and people are in the surrounding. She needs help.”