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Grieving Dad's Pain PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Michelle Kaske and Kathianne Boniello   

Dad & ChildRips City Over Boy's Death in Mom's Care

The grieving father of an abused, obese 10-year-old Staten Island boy allegedly killed by his mother lashed out at the city yesterday as family gathered for the child's funeral.

Jaquan Porter's emotional father charged that court officials, the Administration for Children's Services and other city agencies failed to help him track the boy and his mother, Melissa Sekulski, as they moved from borough to borough.

"From the Board of Education to the family courts to ACS, nobody helped me see him," a devastated Charles Porter said. "No city officials called to help. It just fell down the drain."

Almost 100 relatives and friends of Jaquan turned out yesterday at the Union Baptist Church in Harlem to mourn the boy, who was home-schooled by Sekulski.

Sekulski, 30, who allegedly admitted to repeatedly beating her son with a belt and stuffing him with junk food until his weight ballooned to 250 pounds, is accused of delivering the death blow to her child on Dec. 26, when she slammed his head into a wall.

She's being held without bail on first-degree manslaughter charges.

Porter, a Harlem resident, said he tried for years to see his son, to no avail. He also accused the city Department of Education of failing to check up on the boy after Sekulski pulled him out of school last year.

Porter wept throughout the funeral as he stared at his son's light blue casket and a poster of a younger, happier Jaquan displayed nearby with the words "We Love You" printed across the bottom.

The boy, whose favorite color was blue, was dressed in a blue sweater and a dark blue New York Yankees cap. A large bouquet of blue carnations and gerbera daisies was atop the casket.

"I don't want this to happen to anyone else," Porter said. "I don't want this to happen in vain."

He had a message for other dads fighting to see their kids.

"Don't stop fighting. Don't let them tell you that they can't help you," he said. "It takes stuff like this for people to open their eyes."

The Abusive MomA Staten Island mother accused of killing her 10-year-old son abused him for years - stuffing him full of junk food and beating him with a belt buckle before finally ending his life by brutally slamming his head against a wall, officials said yesterday.

Jaquan Porter didn't have much of a chance. While the steady diet of fatty sweets that blew him up to nearly 250 pounds didn't kill him, the constant physical abuse allegedly did.

Sources said the fatal blow came Friday, the day after Christmas, which happens to be his mother, Melissa Sekulski's birthday.

While other boys his age were playing with new toys and video games, Jaquan was being rushed to Richmond University hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Earlier, Sekulski, 30, hit him in the head so hard that his head struck a wall in the basement apartment where they lived at Grandview Avenue, authorities said.

Sources said Sekulski admitted to striking the fatal blow, and said she was responsible for the boy's prior injuries.

She was arraigned yesterday on a first-degree manslaughter charge, and held without bail.

Sekulski has a previously scheduled Family Court hearing today, and a court date on the criminal charge Dec. 31.

A spokeswoman for the city's Administration for Children's Services said the agency is investigating to see if the family has a file with any of its caseworkers.

Authorities said Jaquan was home-schooled, and neighbors said they rarely saw him at all. Some didn't even know Sekulski had a child.

"Everyone knows everyone here, and I never saw that kid, never saw him go to school or nothing," said Rico Pedrazza, 24, a neighbor.

"But she was always in and out."

Those who did see Jaquan described a boy who was obviously obese, who breathed heavily after short sprints and who frequently gorged on junk food his mother provided.

Officials said Sekulski and the boy's father split up at least three years ago, and that she and Jaquan had previously lived in Brooklyn and The Bronx.

Sources said the boy and his mother lived in squalor in an apartment infested with bugs.

A boy who played with Jaquan occasionally said he saw signs of abuse, but said nothing because he didn't want to embarrass his friend.

"I would see him with marks - they looked like belt marks or hit marks - but he never said anything," the friend said.

Neighbor J.R. Moore, 50, said he saw Sekulski run out of the apartment on Friday screaming hysterically.

"She was screaming, 'My baby, my baby,' " said Moore, who followed her back inside to try to revive Jaquan, who was not breathing.

"He was just laid out on the floor, lifeless," said Moore, who said the boy was stretched out on a blanket and dressed in sweatpants and a T-shirt. "I thought he was too overweight and needed to be on a diet. The way he was laying there I knew something was wrong."


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