ROME, N.Y. — A New York police officer who left his baby son inside a hot vehicle for hours won’t face charges in the boy’s death.
The Oneida County district attorney’s office says Rome police officer Mark Fanfarillo’s actions do not reach the threshold required for criminal liability.
Fanfarillo brought 4-month-old Michael with him while he drove his older son, Brandon, to day care, Syracuse.com reported. After dropping Brandon off, Fanfarillo drove home, went inside and did some chores before falling asleep, forgetting that Michael was in the car. Fanfarillo was supposed to have taken his infant son to a separate day care facility.
Fanfarillo works the night shift for the Rome Police Department and usually sleeps during the day, The Rome Sentinel reported.
The baby was left in the car all day in early June. Outside temperatures were around 80 degrees. Michael died of hyperthermia.
When Michael’s mother went to her baby’s day care to pick him up, she was told he had never been dropped off that day. She called her husband who realized what he had done and ran outside to the car. Fanfarillo tried and failed to resuscitate his son.
As part of the investigation, District Attorney Scott McNamara requested that Fanfarillo submit to a blood test to determine if he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs the day the boy died. Results were negative.
District Attorney Scott McNamara said Fanfarillo could not be charged for criminal negligence because a memory lapse doesn’t fall under the umbrella of the crime.
Michael had been to day care just 22 times, and his father had only been responsible for dropping him off three of those times, The Rome Sentinel reported. It wasn’t part of Fanfarillo’s regular routine to drop his infant son off.
“There is no evidence to suggest this is anything more than a tragic accident,” McNamara said. “Unfortunately prosecutors see tragic accidents all the time that do not arise from criminal conduct and therefore do not result in homicide prosecutions.”
Associated Press contributed to this report along with PIX11 News.