A deadly opioid overdose claimed the life of a 1‑year-old boy at a Bronx daycare last week. Three other children also suffered from the same drug and had to be rushed to the hospital.
The daycare operators, Grei Mendez and Carlisto Acevedo Brito, were arrested on Saturday. They face multiple charges, including manslaughter, assault, and drug possession.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) said that Mendez ran the Divino Niño Daycare from an apartment where Brito lived. The New York Times reported that the pair had no lawyers yet.
The tragedy unfolded on Friday afternoon, when four children at the daycare came in contact with an opioid. Mayor Eric Adams said that one child died and three others were hospitalized.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said that the children were unresponsive and showed signs of opioid exposure. He said that Narcan, a drug that reverses opioid overdoses, was given to all three children.
The children were an 8‑month-old girl, a 1‑year-old boy, and a 2‑year-old boy. They were taken to Montefiore Medical Center, where the 1‑year-old boy was pronounced dead.
Kenny also revealed that another 2‑year-old boy had similar symptoms earlier that day. He said that the boy was taken home by his mother, who noticed that he was lethargic and unresponsive. She brought him to BronxCare hospital, where he received Narcan and survived.
After receiving a 911 call, NYPD officers inspected the daycare and found a kilo press. Kenny said that this device is used by drug dealers to package large amounts of drugs.
The daycare had no previous health violations, according to Dr. Ashwin Vasan, the commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. He said that the daycare started operating in January as a home-based childcare site.