Mom charged in connection with 4-year-old son's death

July 16, 2012 3:19:06 PM PDT
A mother is locked up, charged in the death of her four-year-old son. The little boy was found unconscious before he died.

Homicide detectives say based on interviews with family members, they arrested that four-year-old boy's mother. Vastie Sharika Coleman is the mother who Harris County detectives say is responsible for the injuries that led to her four-year-old son's death on Sunday.

Neighbor Roland Garrett said, "It's hard to swallow when it's an innocent baby that can't protect himself, who's been taken away from us."

Neighbors and parents at the Villas at Pine Lake apartment complex along Beltway 8 North near Vickery, where emergency workers found the unresponsive child, have been buzzing about the little boy's tragic death all day.

"It's just unfortunate," said neighbor Robbin Marlin. "I really feel for the siblings."

Emergency workers told Eyewitness News they saw bruises covering the body of Coleman's little boy as they were rushing him to Northeast Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

One neighbor told me Coleman and a man who stays at the apartment she rents were fighting a short time before emergency workers showed up.

Neighbor Deidreina Faciane said, "Well, they was arguing, when me and my sister, we took out the trash. We heard them arguing before the baby died."

Parents in the complex say they didn't know too much about 27-year-old Coleman. The family hadn't been living in this apartment complex long. One neighbor said they'd only been here for a little more than a month.

Coleman is now charged with injury to a child. She also has two young daughters, ages six and eight. Child Protective Services has placed those kids in a foster home for now.

"The most disturbing part for me is I was out here when they took the two little girls away in the police car," Marlin recalled. "Of course, they weren't being arrested, but it was very traumatic for them, so that just was kind of heart-wrenching for me."

Coleman has been charged with injury to a child/serious bodily injury. She is being held in the Harris County Jail without bond.

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