A 6-year-old boy was seriously injured Thursday night after he was attacked by a homeless man in Kew Gardens, according to authorities.
Police responded to a call of an assault at a home in the vicinity of Metropolitan Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard at 4:48 p.m. on Oct. 10. Upon their arrival, officers found that 35-year-old Laurance Gendreau had picked up the boy, who was outside of his grandparents’ house, and slammed his head into the pavement.
EMS arrived and transported he victim, who suffered a contusion to his face, to Cohen Children’s Medical Center.
Police took Gendreau — who a police spokesman confirmed is homeless — into custody without further incident and charged him with assault, harassment, and acting in a manner injurious to a child.
Reports say that Gendreau has a history with mental illness, though a police spokesperson could not immediately confirm.
After news of the incident was posted on Facebook, many users took to the social media site to further push back against the controversial homeless shelter that is coming to Glendale.
One user posted, “If this isn’t a perfect example why no shelter of the magnitude they want to stick us with should ever be built in a residential area!!! we’ve had just about enough!”
However, others wrote that homeless people should be treated for their mental illness rather than being forced into a shelter, with one user posting, “This country should service people with issues correctly instead of dumping them everywhere without any help, making it unsafe for everyone.”
State Sen. Joseph Addabbo released a statement Friday afternoon condemning the attack.
“My prayers for full and speedy recovery go out to the young child who was attacked by a homeless man yesterday in Kew Gardens. This incident, coupled with the recent brutal murders of four homeless individuals by another homeless man in Chinatown, highlights the vital need for providing the homeless with the mental health services they desperately need,” Addabbo said. “My staff and I remain vigilant in working on credible solutions, including both the administrative and legislative means necessary, to resolve the homeless crisis in the city. I believe by working together, we can address the housing and services needed by our homeless individuals.”