A New York woman was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder after police say she smothered her toddler inside the bathroom of a New York City restaurant.
Latisha Fisher, 35, was arrested Monday in the death of 1-year-old Gavriel Ortiz-Fisher, CBS reports. At around 2:25 p.m., Fisher took the boy into the bathroom 5 Boro Burger in Midtown.
A customer walked into the bathroom, where she said she saw Fisher with her hand over her son’s mouth, according to the New York Daily News. The witness claims Fisher told her, “I put my hand over his mouth to put him to sleep.”
Shortly after the woman left, Fisher locked the door. Customers and employees became concerned when Fisher remained in the bathroom for almost a half an hour, and forced their way inside. When they opened the door, the toddler was foaming at the mouth and not moving, according to the Wall Street Journal. He was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The mother allegedly told authorities that the “devil made her do it.”
Fisher's past is checkered with serious mental issues, the New York Times reports. Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, Fisher has a history of violent outbursts including pouring burning oil onto a romantic partner’s head and attacking her aunt with a Taser and a steak knife.
“She’s good and kind until that button gets switched,” Brian Rivera, a friend of Fisher’s, told the Times. “I don’t know why they ever let her out again.”
After the 2011 incident with her aunt, Fisher pleaded guilty to assault and went through two years of treatment at a rehabilitation program for mentally ill felony offenders. After she got out, officials called her a “poster child” for the program, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Never miss a thing. Sign up for up-to-the-minute breaking news alerts delivered straight to your inbox. Learn more