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3 Year Old Boy Drowns in Pool in Staten Island Day Care Center

3-Yr-Old boy drowns in daycare center pool in Staten Island

A 3-year-old boy, Edward Harris, drowned after falling in the backyard above-ground pool in Mother Byrd Day Care Center  Staten Island.

The incident happened at around 5:30 p.m. Thursday at 51 Maple Parkway where the child's mother, Maria Johnson, 23, worked. News sources say that the gate to the pool was locked and the child managed to fall in the pool by climbing on boxes. 

According to NY Daily News:

Edward Harris slipped into the above-ground pool behind the Mother Byrd Group Family Daycare center in Mariners Harbor after his father left him alone in a play area at the side of the facility.

The toddler’s mother, Maria Johnson, 23, was supposed to be watching the child, but was on the phone making a hair appointment when he wandered into the pool, the boy’s father, Robert Battipaglia, told the Daily News.

But Johnson said the father never told her he left the boy in the play area. She said she was on the phone when she looked out the back window and saw her son in the pool. 

The adoptive father, Robert Battaglia, tried in vain to save his child by giving him CPR but was not successful. He appeared very heartbroken and kept repeating "he was my best friend, my everything". The toddler was rushed to Richmond University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. 

Police are still investigating the tragedy and have not pressed any charges. The owner of the daycare center (authorized to have up to 12 kids at the group center) was not present at the time and was running errands. There were other kids present at the daycare who were waiting to be picked up by parents. The daycare has no violations on record.

Anyone else wonder who was attending to other children? Tragic story. 

Sources: NY Daily News,, NYPD
Photo Source: Google Maps