Toddler is not expected to survive after aunt allegedly tosses him off Chicago pier

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By Asiya Ali

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A toddler has been left in critical condition after his aunt allegedly pushed him off a pier into Lake Michigan.

As reported by the Chicago-Sun Times, Victoria Moreno, 34, allegedly stole the family’s truck and snuck out of a home in Des Plaines on September 19 with her three-year-old nephew.

Later, Moreno took the child to Lake Michigan and let him crawl along the ledge of the Navy Pier. She then checked the surrounding area to see if anyone was watching before allegedly throwing him into the water.

Prosecutors alleged on Thursday (September 22) that the toddler struggled to stay afloat for nearly 30 minutes before authorities arrived at the scene, per the New York Post.

Officers from the Chicago Police Department arrived and pulled the toddler from the lake in a declining state and found that he had gone into cardiac arrest.

"Not once during any of these events did the defendant scream for help, call for help, ask for help or try herself to help," Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said during Moreno’s bond hearing.

Moreno was reportedly caught on surveillance video tossing the child into the water and doing nothing to try and save him, according to Fox32 Chicago.

"The defendant looked around her multiple times and waited for people to leave, looking around once again, and when no one was present, she allowed the three-year-old child to crawl back under the chain toward the edge of the platform - doing nothing," Scaduto said. "When the police arrived, the defendant pretended not to know anything about the child."

The child’s grandfather, Dan Brown, spoke with WLS-TV and said the family is asking for prayers, adding: "God makes things happen. That’s what we are banking on right now."

Block Club Chicago reported that the aunt had taken the boy and two of her nieces to the pier one week earlier. The oldest child, 11, was scared of her behavior and called other family members to pick them up.

Moreno’s public defender, Patrick Shine, revealed that she has "severe mental health" issues including anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Shine said that perhaps Moreno suffered from a psychotic break and did not intend on hurting the boy. He asked the judge to release her on bail so she could get professional help while awaiting trial.

However, Judge Susanna Ortiz of Cook County Circuit Court denied the defender's pleas and explained that Moreno is "a danger to the community - and to her specific family members and children in general".

In addition, Ortiz denied setting bail for Moreno during her hearing on September 21 and described her actions as  "intentionally brutal and heinous".

Moreno was arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery to a child under the age of 13 causing permanent disability.

Scaduto said that the child will be reevaluated within the next few days to see if he has brain activity, but it is unlikely he will survive. If he dies, the aunt will be given additional charges.

Her next court date is on September 30.

Featured image credit: Henryk Sadura / Alamy

Toddler is not expected to survive after aunt allegedly tosses him off Chicago pier

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

A toddler has been left in critical condition after his aunt allegedly pushed him off a pier into Lake Michigan.

As reported by the Chicago-Sun Times, Victoria Moreno, 34, allegedly stole the family’s truck and snuck out of a home in Des Plaines on September 19 with her three-year-old nephew.

Later, Moreno took the child to Lake Michigan and let him crawl along the ledge of the Navy Pier. She then checked the surrounding area to see if anyone was watching before allegedly throwing him into the water.

Prosecutors alleged on Thursday (September 22) that the toddler struggled to stay afloat for nearly 30 minutes before authorities arrived at the scene, per the New York Post.

Officers from the Chicago Police Department arrived and pulled the toddler from the lake in a declining state and found that he had gone into cardiac arrest.

"Not once during any of these events did the defendant scream for help, call for help, ask for help or try herself to help," Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said during Moreno’s bond hearing.

Moreno was reportedly caught on surveillance video tossing the child into the water and doing nothing to try and save him, according to Fox32 Chicago.

"The defendant looked around her multiple times and waited for people to leave, looking around once again, and when no one was present, she allowed the three-year-old child to crawl back under the chain toward the edge of the platform - doing nothing," Scaduto said. "When the police arrived, the defendant pretended not to know anything about the child."

The child’s grandfather, Dan Brown, spoke with WLS-TV and said the family is asking for prayers, adding: "God makes things happen. That’s what we are banking on right now."

Block Club Chicago reported that the aunt had taken the boy and two of her nieces to the pier one week earlier. The oldest child, 11, was scared of her behavior and called other family members to pick them up.

Moreno’s public defender, Patrick Shine, revealed that she has "severe mental health" issues including anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Shine said that perhaps Moreno suffered from a psychotic break and did not intend on hurting the boy. He asked the judge to release her on bail so she could get professional help while awaiting trial.

However, Judge Susanna Ortiz of Cook County Circuit Court denied the defender's pleas and explained that Moreno is "a danger to the community - and to her specific family members and children in general".

In addition, Ortiz denied setting bail for Moreno during her hearing on September 21 and described her actions as  "intentionally brutal and heinous".

Moreno was arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery to a child under the age of 13 causing permanent disability.

Scaduto said that the child will be reevaluated within the next few days to see if he has brain activity, but it is unlikely he will survive. If he dies, the aunt will be given additional charges.

Her next court date is on September 30.

Featured image credit: Henryk Sadura / Alamy