2010-02-12 / Top Stories

Detectives Visit Comatose Boy Daily

By Howard Schwach

Two detectives from the 100 Precinct have been visiting a young boy, who remains in a coma, on a daily basis after his mother deliberately immersed him in scalding water, allegedly for having soiled himself, nurses at the Nassau County Medical Center say.

A nurse at the hospital, who asked not to be identified because she has no permission to speak with the press, said that two of the detectives who originally investigated the case, Thomas Maroone and Brian Driscol, have been visiting the boy daily, bringing him toys and other presents.

“It breaks my heart to see the boy like that,” the nurse said. “But you have to give credit to the detectives. They could have just closed the case and stayed home, but they have shown outstanding service by coming here each day to visit this injured boy.”

Court papers supplied by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown say that Regina Cooper, 30, of 112-34 Rockaway Beach Boulevard got upset when she came home around midday on January 25, and was told that her three-year-old son, Barkim Owens, had soiled his pull-ups.

It is alleged that Cooper cursed at her son, stripped him of his clothing and placed him in the bathtub without testing the temperature of the water. She allegedly held him submerged in the water for several minutes while the child screamed, cried and pleaded with his mother to take him out. When she finally pulled him out, his skin that had been submerged began falling off his body.

The young child was transported to the Nassau County Burn Center in East Meadow where he was admitted with second-degree burns on his legs, buttocks and genitals and was placed in a medicallyinduced coma, sources say.

Cooper was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on charges of firstand second-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

If convicted, Cooper faces up to 25 years in prison.

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