Police said they learned of the abuse when Olawusi called 911 on Monday to report that his son was not breathing. Firefighters brought the 3-month-old boy to Hasbro Children’s Hospital Monday afternoon.
Prosecutors said the infant had at least a dozen fractures in his skull, arms, and legs. He also had bite marks on his body and was found unconscious. Police have charged 33-year-old Arinola Olawusi and 40-year-old Olalekan Olawusi with child neglect. The couple is expected to be arraigned in District Court on Tuesday.
Arinola Olawusi told policed her husband bit the baby and pulled his legs to “make him grow and strong,” the Providence Journal reports. The boy was rushed to the hospital Monday with a range of injuries, including broken bones. He remains in critical condition.
It's not the first time The Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) has been to the Olawusi residence. Their first child together was taken away at birth.
A judge set bail at $40,000 with surety for Olalekan and ordered him to surrender his Nigerian passport. The family has been living at 49 Constitution St., in the city’s West End. Both parents are ordered not to have any contact with the baby.
The state Department of Children, Youth and Families has been involved with the baby since birth, said spokesman Denis Riel. An older sibling is already in foster placement with a relative, he said.
DCYF is investigating the circumstances around the case and conducting an internal review, Riel said.
Riel said a caseworker can have contact with a family in state care once a month, according to national standards, but there is also a network of community-based providers involved with the family.
There was no formal complaint about the baby’s care, Riel added
A caseworker was assigned to the family, however there was no information released about how often the family was visited or what services were recommended.
Arinola Olawusi self-published a book — “A to Z Ways to Achieve Your Goals In Life” — which lists her biography as a motivational speaker who is “involved with helping pregnant and worried women and their children.” She wrote that she and her husband, Olalekan Olawusi, are “blessed with a loving son."
The jacket says, “She is very passionate about knowledge and information along with motivating and encouraging the hurting."