Death of 6-year-old boy probed

August 04, 1993|By Ed Heard and Rona Hirsch | Ed Heard and Rona Hirsch,Staff Writers

Howard County homicide investigators are probing the death of a 6-year-old boy who was rushed to the hospital by medics yesterday afternoon after police received an emergency call saying that the child had stopped breathing at his home.

Anthony Lee Crawford, 31, of the 5100 block of Brook Way, was charged with child abuse last night. He could face more serious charges, pending results of an autopsy to be performed this morning.

Police said Mr. Crawford had been watching Christopher Flye, the son of a friend, Zelda Flye of Nashville, Tenn., for about a month.

The child's head, abdomen and legs were badly bruised when medics arrived at Mr. Crawford's home, in the Hannibal Grove Apartments in the Running Brook neighborhood of Columbia, said Sgt. Gary L. Gardner, Howard County police spokesman.

Rescue workers tried for 20 minutes to resuscitate the boy, then took him to Howard County General Hospital, where they continued resuscitation efforts for about half an hour.

The boy was pronounced dead about 6:30 p.m.

"The child had obvious signs of bruising on numerous parts of his body," Sergeant Gardner said. He said Mr. Crawford was charged with child abuse after he admitted striking the boy Saturday.

"This is a tragedy no matter when it happens," Sergeant Gardner. "The beating of a young, defenseless child is horrendous, whenever it happens."

Mr. Crawford, who police said is retired from the Army and is unemployed, is to be arraigned before a court commissioner this morning.

The boy's mother has been contacted, said police.

Just after 5 p.m., police received a 911 call from Mr. Crawford, who reported that the child was having trouble breathing and needed an ambulance, Sergeant Gardner said.

A neighbor who lives in an adjacent garden apartment said he and his wife were at home yesterday afternoon but didn't hear or see anything unusual until the police arrived.

He said the child arrived at the apartment a few weeks ago.

"I saw him (the boy) when they unloaded the mattress," said the man, who declined to be identified. "The kid was standing with toys. He looked happy. I've seen him other times playing in the stairwell, playing with kids from the apartmenmts."

He described Mr. Crawford as "real nice, quiet, friendly."

If the death is ruled a homicide, it would be the second in Howard County this year.

In April, police found the body of a Baltimore mother of six in the Rocky Gorge Reservoir in Scaggsville. The woman's boyfriend has been charged in her death.

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