Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Nutbag Parents Give Infant Vodka

My comments follow the article:


A couple accused of killing their infant child with a lethal dose of alcohol have turned themselves in to police.

BY WANDA J. DeMARZO


Mardala Derival and Mackenson Dantus calmly walked into a New Jersey police station Thursday shortly after 12:30 p.m. and asked an officer to call a Fort Lauderdale police detective.

When an officer at the Trenton, N.J., station ran an arrest search, it became clear why the couple had wandered in. The two were wanted on aggravated manslaughter charges in the alcohol-poisoning death of their 3-month-old daughter, Makeisha. Fort Lauderdale police had issued an arrest warrant for the couple in October.

On Valentine's Day 2004, the couple fed baby Makeisha a concoction of vodka, water, sugar and Tylenol, police said. The infant died.

Fort Lauderdale police issued a warrant for their arrest after toxicology reports showed the child had a blood alcohol level of .47. That's the level an average-size adult would have after chugging 18 beers, said Dr. Ronald Wright, a forensic consultant and former Broward County medical examiner.

The surrender came two hours after a conversation between Dantus and the Broward Sheriff's Office fugitive unit, BSO spokeswoman Liz Calzadilla-Fiallo said. They're now awaiting extradition to Florida.

According to police documents released Tuesday, test results on the infant revealed that the child was fed a little over an ounce of vodka shortly before her death.

''This is more than a lethal range,'' Dr. Wright said. The usual lethal range of alcohol levels is .25 to .35, said Wright, who isn't involved in the case.

The baby had colic and was running a fever so they decided to use a remedy they learned in their native Haiti.

''These type deaths are very rare,'' said Broward Medical Examiner Joshua Perper. ``People do things that are very unhealthy for children, they leave them in cars when it is hot outside. ... They do unreasonable things.''

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Some news items just make you sick in the pit of your stomach. They make you want to reach through the television, reach through the newspaper, reach through the computer and shake the shit out of someone.

I have three kids. Two of them had pretty bad colic. And with colic, there's not much you can do but wait it out, and give as much sympathy to the baby as you can.

Sympathy. Not Smirnoff.

As for the defense that they were simply applying a folk cure from their native Haiti...I don't buy it. I'm not saying that such a folk cure doesn't exist or was never used. I'm saying that I don't buy that they didn't know, in 2005, that giving an ounce of vodka to a baby is a bad idea. Where I am from, in the mountains of the South, it was a common practice to rub whisky on the gums of a teething baby. At least, it was common practice...30 years ago. It has been a long time since it was a "common remedy," and I wonder if the same is not true for this vodka-and-sugar-water mixture "cure" from Haiti.

I've also never heard of any folk remedy involving such a large and dangerous amount of alcohol...or incorporating "modern" medicines like Tylenol. Either these parents deliberately killed their child, or they are terminally stupid. Either way, I hope they spend many, many long years in prison...without even an ounce of Grey Goose for comfort.

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1 Comments:

At 8:31 AM, Blogger mdmhvonpa said...

I have been known to dip into the Grey Goose or Belvedere for some relief, but never for my kids. They learned early on that it is not all too tasty and stay away from "Daddy's icky drinks". Kids are resillient, but not bullet proof.

 

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