A Bridgeport woman is facing a felony charge after witnessing abuse to her son that city investigators said was the worst they’ve ever seen–and not reporting it.
Bridgeport police said they picked up 22-year-old Jarelis Lugo in New Haven early Wednesday morning on a warrant for risk of injury to a minor.
Her bond was set at $50,000.
Lugo has a 5-year-old son with 22-year-old Daquon Gomillion. Gomillion pleaded not guilty to child abuse charges early last month for beating the boy, in case that Superior Court Judge Earl Richards called “horrific.”
Gomillion remains in jail on $750,000 bond.
Police said the boy had many scars on both legs, his back and chest and that part of one ear was missing. His lip had been split, healed over and split again.
The boy’s dentist called police after seeing evidence of the abuse during an examination. State law requires dentists are required to report signs of abuse to authorities.
A doctor at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital who examined the boy said the scars on his body were too numerous to count and said there was more scarring than he had ever seen.
Police said the child was forced to apologize to Gomillion after the beatings. The boy is now in the custody of the state Department of Children and Families.
Investigators said that when they initially talked to Lugo she said the injuries were accidental and that her son was prone to falling off his bike.
She later said she knew her son was being hurt by his father, but police said she was afraid to report it.
Debra Greenwood, the CEO of the Center for Woman and Families in Bridgeport, said anyone who sees evidence of child abuse has an obligation to report it.
“We need to be the ones to protect children,” she said. “Children don’t have the ability to pick up the phone and tell someone.”
The center operates at 24-hour hotline for abuse reports at (203) 384-9559.