New London woman arrested in stabbing of infant

New London — City police arrested a 22-year-old New London woman Wednesday for her role in the stabbing of her 4-month-old nephew during a fight with her boyfriend.

Brittany Melendez was arraigned in New London Superior Court on charges of second-degree assault, criminal attempt to commit first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, possession of a dangerous weapon, disorderly conduct and two counts of risk of injury to a minor.

On the evening of May 23, police said, Melendez and her boyfriend, Syquan Smith, were watching her sister’s son while the sister went out.

The two argued, and police allege Melendez went at her boyfriend with a knife while he was holding the baby, according to an arrest warrant affidavit in the case. He was able to grab the knife, but Melendez retrieved another knife and went at him again.

Smith told police he pulled the baby back and turned his body in an attempt to grab the knife but was not able to stop her arm. The knife hit the baby in the buttocks, the tip of the blade going into the diaper about 1 inch, according to police. Smith said he pulled the knife from the baby while Melendez was still holding it.

Smith told police he left the home and drove the baby to a nearby playground to hide the vehicle from Melendez and called the child’s mother, according to the affidavit.

Melendez’s 3-year-old son was in the room when the stabbing occurred, police said.

Because of his age, the child was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he received two stitches.

Melendez gave a sworn statement to police four days after the incident, admitting she was intoxicated at the time of the incident.

She told police she had tried to slap her boyfriend during an argument, but he had pushed her to the floor and tried to choke her, according to police. She also said he banged her head into the floor, and she was afraid he was going to hurt her some more, so she grabbed a kitchen knife.

She said Smith grabbed the baby as she moved toward him with the knife and as she tried to stab him in the leg, he grabbed her arm.

“She stated that as he did that, her arm went up and the knife must have hit the baby,” according to the affidavit. “She stated she never meant to stab the baby and felt really bad about it. She stated that she cries about it constantly and cannot sleep.”

At the time of her arrest, Melendez was on probation for a 2013 conviction for third-degree assault.

At her court appearance, Melendez was appointed a public defender and entered a not guilty plea to the charges. She was ordered held in lieu of a $75,000 bond and scheduled to return to court on July 9.

g.smith@theday.com

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