An Amityville man seemed incredulous on a videotaped interrogation played Thursday in court at the accusation that his two sharp, backhanded punches to a little boy's chest killed him.
The video of Suffolk police interviewing Jonathan Thompson, 32, was played as part of a pretrial hearing before Suffolk County Court Judge Barbara Kahn. She will decide if police had probable cause to arrest Thompson for the Jan. 16, 2013, death of Adonis Reed, 4, and if Thompson's statements to police are admissible at trial.
When Det. Patrick Portela asked Thompson on the video why he hit Adonis, Thompson went silent.
"What was, it Jon?" Portela said. "Say it, and you're going to feel better."
"Everything went wrong," Thompson said.
"He didn't listen," Thompson said eventually. "He wouldn't go to sleep. I just lost it."
Thompson then gave the wall two backhanded smacks to demonstrate, but said he didn't think the boy was injured badly. "He did not cry," Thompson said, or even fall down.
Thompson seemed embarrassed about why he lost his temper. "Don't put that in the paper," he told Portela. "It sounds stupid."
Earlier in the questioning, Thompson told Portela that his year-old pit bull puppy, Diamond, had knocked Adonis down a concrete stoop. Later, Thompson acknowledged hitting the boy.
An autopsy showed Adonis died from a torn liver and other internal injuries. He was found unconscious and alone by a neighbor after Thompson called 911. He died soon afterward at a hospital.
In a letter to Newsday, Thompson blamed the boy's death on the hospital. He said medical technicians and doctors put a breathing tube down the boy's esophagus instead of his trachea, preventing -- instead of aiding -- his breathing. Thompson sent medical records from the hospital showing Adonis was intubated in his esophagus, the tube from the mouth to the stomach.
The boy's medical treatment probably will play a role in Thompson's trial, defense attorney Joseph Hanshe said.
Thompson's letter did not address the reason Adonis went to the hospital. He was caring for the boy that day in the Amityville home he shared with his girlfriend, Lakisha Pitt, the boy's godmother, while she was at work. Pitt and Thompson had taken custody of Adonis and his sister after authorities had removed them from their mother, Kiara Daniels.
During questioning by Hanshe, Portela testified Thursday that the boy's body had both fresh and old bruises.
Portela said Pitt told him she was the disciplinarian, and that Thompson was never aggressive with the children. He said a neighbor, Tracy Penta, said Pitt "often" hit the kids.
But on this day, Portela said Penta told him she heard a commotion after Pitt left for work. "She heard what she said sounded like someone being thrown against the wall," Portela testified.