Father facing charges after infant dies 7-month-old boy was left in car for several hours in Lakewood

Staff Writer

Father facing
charges after
infant dies
7-month-old boy was
left in car for several
hours in Lakewood
Staff Writer

LAKEWOOD — Police have charged township resident Areyh Katzman, 25, with second-degree endangerment of a child in the death of his 7-month-old son. The infant died after Katzman left him in the family car for several hours on May 20.

The boy, Chaim, was the only child of Katzman and his wife, Malky.

According to Lakewood police Capt. Rob Lawson, a call was made to police at about 2 p.m. May 20 to report trouble with a child. Officer Karl Must was dispatched to Powder Horn Drive in New England Village off Sunset Avenue. When Must arrived, he found the child in an ambulance.

The officer asked the father what had happened, Lawson said. He said Katzman told Must that he normally dropped the child off at a baby-sitter’s residence before going to school at Beth Medrash Govoha in the township. Lawson reported that Katzman said he would then pick up the child in the afternoon. However, on the day the baby died, Katzman told police he went to pick up the child at the baby-sitter’s home but found him already in the car, a gray Toyota Camry, according to Lawson.

Emergency medical technicians were unable to revive the child. A doctor who works with the ambulance service pronounced the baby dead at 2:10 p.m., according to Lawson.

Lawson said the child had been left in the vehicle for between four and five hours. He said the temperature of the enclosed car may have reached 90 degrees or higher, despite the cooler temperatures outside the vehicle.

"Children are much more susceptible to this type of environment than an adult would be," the captain said.

The Ocean County Sheriff Department’s Criminal Investigative Unit impounded the vehicle for an investigation.

Lawson said that after police conducted an investigation of the incident, Katzman was arrested and brought to police headquarters. He was charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child. Bail was set at $100,000 with no 10 percent option.

Published reports indicated that fellow members of the Orthodox Jewish community helped to raise the bail and Katzman was released from custody several hours after his arrest.

"If you are found guilty of a second-degree crime, there is a presumption of incarceration," said Lawson. "A second-degree crime can potentially have a sentence of five to 10 years."

The case is expected to be presented to a grand jury.

Attorney Steven Secare has been retained to represent Katzman.

Chaim Katzman was interred on May 20 at Congregation Sons of Israel Cemetery, Lakewood.