No Charges For NY Cop After Leaving Infant Son In Hot Car To Die

An infant has died, after being left in a hot car by his cop father. Michael Fanfarillo was left in a scorching hot car for over eight hours, while his father did chores and slept. Officer Mark Fanfarillo of the Rome New York Police Department dropped his oldest child off at daycare and forgot that he had brought Michael along. He returned home, did not realize his mistake, only noticing when his wife called, nearly nine hours later. The district attorney, however, extended Fanfarillo the blue privilege and declined to file charges.

According to District Attorney Scott McNamara, “the facts and evidence in this case do not reach the threshold required for criminal liability. A person must fail to perceive that a substantial and unjustifiable risk will result from their conduct. A lapse or loss in memory is insufficient proof to satisfy the legal requirement of failing to perceive a risk — something more is required.” There is little doubt that Fanfarillo’s status as a police officer heavily influenced the District Attorney’s decision not to prosecute.

Citizens who have committed the same offense have been arrested. Their lives have been torn apart by the justice system. The case of Michael Fanfarillo is a sad and tragic accident, however it was one that was preventable. Only out of sheer negligence, did Michael’s death come about. The same was the case for Kari Engholm, a Texas mother whose daughter met a similar fate. Engholm rushed off to executive level business meetings and forgot her daughter Clare was in her car. The child died after being left in the car all day long, in the hot Texas sun. Dallas District Attorney’s wasted no time in charging Engholm with the child’s death. The circumstances are virtually identical, although Engholm doesn’t carry a badge. She was eventually found not guilty at trial. The decision, in the case of Fanfarillo, should have similarly been made by a jury of his peers.

“The law in our state recognizes a fundamental difference between the offender who leaves a child in a car knowing that the child is there but wrongly failing to appreciate the risk of such conduct, and a person who walks away from a vehicle after having forgotten that the child was still inside of it,” McNamara’s statement continued. “There is no evidence to suggest this is anything more than a tragic accident.” According to the DA, Fanfarillo’s level of cooperation played heavily in their decision making process. He also cooperated in submitting to blood and urine samples and he declined to hire an attorney.

Regardless of the circumstances, no parent wishes harm on their child and should never have to face the reality that Mark Fanfarillo had to face. The difference with this case is the blatant example of how blue privilege is not just a myth. If anyone else had caused the death of their child under similar circumstances, the cops and the DA would have strung them up on neglect and abuse charges. This case is just another example demonstrating that police truly are above the law.

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