A Patchogue mother and her boyfriend were charged with child abandonment after law enforcement officials said they kicked the woman’s 6-year-old daughter out of their car, leaving her alone on a street corner in Laurelton, Queens, amid the coronavirus pandemic, after the boyfriend complained about the girl's crying.
The pair were arraigned Tuesday night in Queens Criminal Court and released on their own recognizance, according to court records.
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said the girl, whose identity was not released because of her age and because she is an alleged crime victim, was found, bags in hand, wandering alone Monday morning on 140th Avenue near Springfield Boulevard. The area was not far from the home of the girl’s biological father, officials said.
“Thankfully, a Good Samaritan found the youngster and took her to two school safety agents,” Katz said in a statement Wednesday, noting the girl was placed with Child Protective Services.
Officials identified the couple as Patrice Chambers, 29, and Mark Pamphile, 28, both of Patchogue. Each was charged with child abandonment, second-degree reckless endangerment and with endangering the welfare of a child at an arraignment Tuesday before Queens Criminal Court Judge Jeffrey Gershuny, who ordered them to appear Aug. 21.
Both Chambers and Pamphile are represented by the Legal Aid Society. If convicted each face up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison.
Katz said that before the incident Pamphile “left voicemail messages on the victim’s dad’s phone threatening to abandon the girl if he didn’t pay the defendant.”
Pamphile also stated in a previous message that “the girl had no place to sleep" and cried a lot, Katz said.
Katz said that just before 11:30 a.m. Monday, Chambers, who was driving as Pamphile sat in the passenger seat, stopped near the Queens intersection — and ordered the little girl from the vehicle.
Officials said surveillance cameras near the scene captured the incident and said that footage shows not only the girl getting out of the vehicle, but bags containing her clothing and other belongings being tossed out before the car drives off. The girl can be seen “running in the street picking up her clothes,” the statement from Katz said.
Pamphile and Chambers were arrested following an investigation by detectives from the NYPD’s 113th Precinct.