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Mother Refused Court Order To Hand Over Child Day Before Death, Lawyer Says

Gabriella Maria Boyd
Gabriella Maria Boyd Photo Credit: Contributed/Martin Rose

A knife-wielding mother, who was later shot by police after they found her toddler severely injured, refused to turn over the child under a court order a day before the child died, officials said.

But the attorney for the devasted father of the 2 1/2-year-old Mamaroneck girl who died Saturday in a domestic incident said village police "refused to execute" the signed temporary court order of protection to remove the child from her mother's custody.

Martin Rosen, who represents Steven Boyd, the father of Gabriella Maria Boyd, said in a statement to reporters, that just one day before her death, police, accompanied by Boyd, went to the home with a signed court order to remove the child.

But when the mother, Cynthia Arce, refused to turn over the child and closed the door, the police left.

"They said they had some doubts whether they had the authority to enter the house to arrest her," Rosen said.

Boyd had received the court order to take custody of the child from Judge Hal Greenwald after receiving a disturbing email from Arce, in addition to the fact she had mental problems, past substance abuse issues and had at one point, been kicked out of her mother's home, Rosen said.

The next day, the department received a 911 around 1:30 p.m . on Chestnut Avenue and found the child severely injured, and when they attempted to aid the child, Arce stabbed two officers after a taser could not stop her attack and she was shot by another officer, police said.

Details of the nature of the injuries sustained by the child that prompted the police response have not yet been released. Officers performed life-saving measures on the toddler upon arrival and immediately called for an ambulance. Medical examiners will perform an autopsy to determine how the child died.

Police said Arce, who remains hospitalized in critical condition, was given "numerous commands to show her hands" before attacking officers with a knife after being Tasered.

Gabriella died later that day. The two police officers were treated and released, police said.

Rosen said he spoke with Assitant District Attorney Mary Clark and that she refused to intervene with the removal of the child because it was a "civil" matter.

Helen Jonsen, the spokeswoman for District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, said the office is not commenting on the incident at this time due to the ongoing investigation.

The Mamaroneck police department did not return phone calls.

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