Friday, February 26, 2010

Dad accused of throwing 3-month-old daughter from bridge placed on suicide watch (Essex County, New Jersey)

We've posted on dad SHAMSID-DIN ABDUR-RAHEEM before. How the mother was refused an order of protection. How the dad assaulted the grandmother before abducting the baby and tossing her off a bridge. Now the poor dear is on a suicide watch and is being held alone in a jail cell "for his own protection" under "intensive supervision." Sucks to be you, doesn't it?

Father accused of throwing infant from N.J. bridge is placed under suicide watch
By Sharon Adarlo/The Star-Ledger
February 25, 2010, 6:42PM

ESSEX COUNTY -- The man accused of killing his 3-month-old daughter by throwing her into the frigid Raritan River last week is under suicide watch and is being held alone in a jail cell for his own protection, authorities said today.

When Shamsid-Din Abdur-Raheem, 21, exhibited some behaviors that concerned prison officials at the Essex County Correctional Facility, where he is being held, they charged a psychiatrist to watch him, said Alfaro Ortiz, director of the jail.

“Nothing serious but enough to cause concern,” said Ortiz, who would not go into detail on what Abdur-Raheem said or did. “We are concerned about his psychiatric status. We want to make sure he’s mentally safe.”

Abdur-Raheem is accused of barging into the East Orange apartment of the baby’s grandmother on Feb. 16, assaulting the woman, kidnapping the baby, and then driving to the Driscoll Bridge where he threw the child, Zara Malani-Lin Abdur-Raheem, into the river, authorities said.

He has pleaded not guilty in Essex County Superior Court for charges of aggravated assault and attempted murder for allegedly attacking the grandmother, and with kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a child. He will be arraigned for the murder charge in Middlesex County Superior Court on Monday.

Because of the severity of the charges, he is also being held alone and away from the general prison population as a precautionary measure, Ortiz said.

“He’s better off and we’re better if we put him in a single cell situation,” Ortiz said. “You want to protect him, make sure nothing happens to him.”

Abdur-Raheem is intensely supervised — wherever he goes, he is escorted by multiple prison guards, Ortiz said.

Matthew Astore, the suspect’s public defender declined to comment on Abdur-Raheem’s situation at the jail nor the case, he said through Tom Rosenthal, a spokesman for the Office of the Public Defender.