Crimes ‘R’ Us: Staten Island Kids Implicated in Teething-Toy Homicide and Spiking Jelly Sandwich with Oxycodone


Kiddie krime wave on Staten Island: Yesterday, a two-year-old boy was implicated in a homicide for bonking his infant sister with a teething toy, as the Advance reported. Now it’s a three-year-old girl who slipped a couple of oxycodone pills into a jelly sandwich she shared with her little pals.

The two-year-old boy will continue to be read Goodnight Moon instead of his Miranda rights. “It’s classified a homicide because of the way she died, but we’re not locking up the two-year-old,” a police source told the paper. The toddler, who inflicted “blunt-impact head injuries” on his sister in the tragic incident last November, will not face any charges (nor will the parent).

Now about that painkiller-and-jelly sandwich . . .

As the Advance‘s John M. Annese tells it, the girl’s 28-year-old mother, Denise Manzella, said that her daughter “slipped the pills into one of the sandwiches as a loving gesture, hoping Mom would eat it.”

It all started when Mom was “scrambling to take care of her two young daughters, prepare a plate of snacks and take her daily medication. . . . Her 3-year-old daughter slipped the pills in one of the sandwiches, and insisted she eat the one made especially for her.” But Mom didn’t, and the plan quickly went to hell. The special sandwich ended up on a plate with others. The three-year-old and her five-year-old sister took it outside, and then “passed pieces of the sandwich through a fence to two other girls, ages 3 and 7.” Those neighbor girls’ grandmother “intercepted the snack, though, and looked inside because the younger of the two is allergic to peanut butter.”

Grandma found something far more dangerous for a little girl than Skippy. None too pleased, she confronted her neighbors, and the three-year-old confessed to peddling the pills. Eventually, the police were called.

Again, the toddler will not be charged for the potentially lethal act.
However, the mother faces charges of child endangerment, and could spend up to a year in jail.

Manzella told the Advance that her daughter readily fessed up: “My 3-year-old said, ‘Mommy, I don’t want to go to jail. I made that for you.’ “