Police officers and firefighters, speeding at more than 100 mph, delivered a dying 2 1/2 -year-old boy from the East Side to Children's Hospital in 2 1/2 minutes Sunday morning.
Jalen McDaniel had been severely abused, and his mother admitted beating him "to discipline him for acting up," authorities said.
India Snell, 28, Jalen's mother, was arrested and charged with first-degree manslaughter.
On the way to the hospital, their siren wailing and lights flashing, the two Broadway Station officers in the front seat and two firefighters with the child in the back seat wanted to cheer when the boy suddenly vomited.
"Everybody in the car -- we all were excited that there was some sign of life," said Officer Richard Lopez, who was at the wheel. In the back seat were Capt. Michael Lombardo and Firefighter Michael Taube, both from Truck 11.
At Children's Hospital, they rushed Jalen into the emergency room and remained with him.
"The emergency staff was unbelievable," said Officer Martin Forero, who rode shotgun on the wild ride from Sears Street to Paderewski Drive to Fillmore Avenue to Best Street to Delaware Avenue and to Bryant Street.
Sources disclosed other visible injuries:
Severe facial lacerations.
A black eye.
Choke and scratch marks on the neck.
Severe cigarette burns on the jaw and right arm.
A broken right forearm, with the hand hanging limply, like a broken doll.
Lacerations to the chest.
Whip marks on the back, along with puncture marks, such as those made with an ice pick or screwdriver.
Marks around the ankles suggesting they had been bound together.
A cigarette burn almost to the bone in one big toe, where gangrene was visible.
"Everybody in the emergency room, when they pronounced the kid dead, they all broke down and started crying," Lopez said.
The Broadway Station log shows the call arrived at 12:27 a.m.; police arrived at the scene at 12:30; they departed at 12:33 and arrived at the hospital at 12:36.
An autopsy by the Erie County medical examiner later Sunday showed the child died of blunt-force trauma to the head, said Capt. Joseph Riga, chief of the Homicide Bureau.
Sources said Jalen had returned home from Child Protection Services in February.
Police said today a check of 911 calls going back more than a year found no record of any previous calls to the house at 88 Sears.
"The squalor in that house was indescribable," Forero said. "The stench was so bad, you had to step outside to breathe." Police said the house apparently had no electricity, gas or water service in operation.
In addition to the manslaughter count, Ms. Snell was charged with drug possession after police said they found "a quantity of cocaine and marijuana" in the home.
Jalen's father, Jabreel McDaniel, 28, was charged with drug possession as well.
Ms. Snell entered a not-guilty plea during her arraignment today and was ordered held on $25,000 bail by City Judge Michael Pietruszka.
McDaniel also pleaded not guilty and was ordered held on $5,000 bail.
Both are due back in court at 2 p.m. next Monday.
Riga said Ms. Snell called 911 at about 12:30 a.m. because the boy was not breathing.
Officers Timothy Mulhern and John Simonian of the Broadway Station were the first on the scene, and Mulhern immediately began administering CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
"When the mother of the child was questioned," Riga said, "she admitted beating the child Friday night to discipline him for acting up. She acknowledged causing injuries. She admitted striking the boy with various objects."
Three other children, ages 1, 3 and 4, were found in the home, Riga said. He would not comment on where those children are now.
The family was described as " very close-knit and quiet" by a neighbor, Alfred Weeden, who lives in the house behind them on Sears near Paderewski Drive. He said McDaniel works at a construction company.