Ryan Cato Harlem mom boyfriend charged with fatal child abuse death of ten year old boy, Ayden Wolfe. A recurring child abuse case that could have been averted.
The boyfriend of a Harlem woman with a history of prior domestic violence arrests has been charged with murder after her 10 year old son was found unresponsive at a New York City Housing Authority housing complex, police said Monday.
Ayden Wolfe was found unconscious and unresponsive in the fourth floor apartment of the Saint Nicholas Houses on West 131st Street on Saturday, police said. He was bruised and cut. Wolfe died at a hospital.
The boy was found with extensive bruising to his face, extremities and all over his body, including a lacerated spleen, a lacerated liver, a lacerated kidney, rib fractures on both sides and bruising between his toes, according to NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison.
Prior case with child services
Ryan Cato, 34, was arrested on charges of murder and endangering the welfare of a child.
Cato, the boyfriend of Wolfe’s mother, called 911 and told police he found the victim unconscious.
There were no prior 911 calls at the location that would indicate child abuse. The victim’s mother has not been interviewed by police.
According to authorities, the victim’s mother had one prior case with child services in 2010 just after Wolfe was born.
He had no other siblings, and there were no other children inside the house at the time of the incident.
A relative said Ayden’s mom was a teenage brain cancer survivor, and was told she’d never have children — a prognosis she proved wrong when she gave birth to Ayden, her only child. The cousin described Ayden as ‘super smart, super intelligent.’ Neighbors lamented a missed opportunity to intervene.
Neighbors asked why the family which had prior ‘family issues’ were not afforded attention and resources that may have mitigated the fatal child abuse the boy was inflicted.
Of note, interviewed neighbors told of hearing of no shouting or anything suspicious according to cbsnylocal.
Cato had three prior arrests, including one in Brooklyn for assaulting the mother of his children on Dec. 29, 2020.
According to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, Cato’s children, ages 12 and 6, were present when he struck their mother several times in the face and choked her. Cato was also arrested for a similar incident at the same location at a different time but that case is sealed, a source said.
Cato was also charged in February with assaulting the driver of a yellow school bus in Brooklyn.