Trinidad: Girl, 11, injured in 30-foot fall from balcony

The building at Maloney Gardens where an 11 year old autistic girl allegedly fell from the top floor yesterday. Police were up to last night probing the circumstances under which she fell.

(Trinidad Guardian) Po­lice were last night in­ter­view­ing sev­er­al peo­ple af­ter an 11-year-old autis­tic girl fell off the bal­cony of her home in Mal­oney. Po­lice said they were told that the in­ci­dent took place af­ter the girl was re­fused per­mis­sion to go to friend’s house ear­li­er in the day to play.

The girl’s fa­ther, who de­scribed his daugh­ter as not en­tire­ly autis­tic but “slow,” claimed that his daugh­ter is very hard to con­trol be­cause of her men­tal con­di­tion and would throw tantrums when­ev­er she is scold­ed or doesn’t get her way.

Yes­ter­day’s in­ci­dent oc­curred at about 2.10 pm, when she asked her moth­er to go to her friend’s house, which is sev­er­al build­ings away. When her moth­er de­nied the girl per­mis­sion to leave she in­stead at­tempt­ed to run away.

On the way down the stairs, the girl fell and hit an awning, which is be­lieved to have saved her from fa­tal wounds.

The girl, up to press time, was in a sta­ble con­di­tion and wait­ing to be ward­ed at the Er­ic Williams Med­ical Sci­ences Com­plex Pae­di­atric Hos­pi­tal, Mt Hope.

The girl’s fa­ther con­firmed that she did not sus­tain life-threat­en­ing wounds nor bro­ken bones. How­ev­er, she is to un­der­go sev­er­al CT scans in­clud­ing head and ab­domen.

Speak­ing with the Guardian Me­dia out­side the apart­ment build­ing, a res­i­dent, who lives in an op­po­site build­ing, said he wit­nessed the en­tire in­ci­dent and de­scribed it as hor­ri­fy­ing.

He said, “Lucky she did not die. I video­taped the en­tire thing on my phone. It sad. I saw when the am­bu­lance came and braced her neck and took her away in a stretch­er so I know she did not die and I was re­lieved.”

Mean­while, the girl’s fa­ther said he was al­leged­ly forced to sep­a­rate the girl from one of her sib­lings and have her live with her moth­er.

“I sep­a­rat­ed them weeks now and you don’t know what chil­dren think­ing,” he said.

“She is a per­sis­tent young la­dy and she likes to do what she wants and she would find all means nec­es­sary to get there (re­fer­ring to her friend) and that was one of the means. She doesn’t give me no prob­lem but she mis­chie­vous.”

How­ev­er, po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tors said they re­ceived in­for­ma­tion and are in­ves­ti­gat­ing an­oth­er the­o­ry, where the child is of­ten seen wan­der­ing the streets. The most re­cent wan­der­ing in­ci­dent, po­lice said, oc­curred three days ago. Asked about this claim, how­ev­er, the child’s fa­ther de­nied this.

“They say she was look­ing for me but she knows very well where to find me. She knows every­thing and knows how to go by her friends but she knows that she just can’t walk out of my house but she al­so knows that her moth­er is not well and knows she can over­pow­er the moth­er.”

The child’s moth­er al­so de­nied the wan­der­ing re­ports re­ceived by po­lice.

The child’s fa­ther ad­mit­ted that it is very hard to take care of his daugh­ter be­cause of her con­di­tion and ad­mit­ted that he is “tired” of wait­ing to get her en­rolled in a school. He said he tried sev­er­al times to get her in a school but would on­ly be giv­en emp­ty promis­es and blamed the “red-tape” sys­tem.

The girl’s moth­er al­so claimed that she made sev­er­al re­ports to the Hous­ing De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (HDC) to have faulty doors in her apart­ment re­paired or re­placed.

“Maybe with this hap­pen­ing now, they will get the things done,” she said.

In an im­me­di­ate re­sponse, HDC is­sued a re­leased say­ing that they were sad­dened to hear of the in­ci­dent and added that one of their So­cial and Com­mu­ni­ty team was dis­patched to the fam­i­ly and al­so dis­closed that a health and safe­ty of­fi­cer has been as­signed to con­duct an as­sess­ment.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions are con­tin­u­ing.

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