Two NYPD cops were suspended without pay for ignoring an order to check on a pregnant woman who was later found dead in a stairwell in her Brooklyn home.
Tonie Wells, 22, died after she was strangled and pushed down a stairwell inside her Sterling Place home last Tuesday. Police arrested her husband Barry Wells, 29, who had a prior history of choking and assaulting her.
Barry Wells was previously arrested in September and charged with strangulation in the second degree for attacking his wife in Manhattan on July 20.
A temporary order of protection was issued against him, the NY Post reports. But Wells ignored the protection order and returned to the couple’s home on Tuesday.
Two 77th Precinct officers were assigned to check on Tonie after her sister called 911 to report that Tonie was “scared” of her husband because he was “acting funny,” sources told the Post.
The officers reportedly drove to Wells’ home in Crown Heights, but they never got out of their patrol unit to check on her, sources told the Post.
“They believed the incident occurred outside, so they didn’t go in,” a police source said.
A day later, witnesses called 911 when they heard Tonie’s 2-year-old daughter crying. Police arrived to find Tonie’s body at the bottom of the stairwell at 9:50 a.m. The young mother had bruises on her neck.
“Witnesses heard an argument and something falling down the stairs,” a high-ranking police source told the Post.
Police arrested Barry on Wednesday, and transported him to a hospital, apparently after he resisted arrest.