Westchester Father Suing Village, County After Daughter's Death

The father of a Mamaroneck toddler who died following a confluence of events that left a family and village devasted, and law enforcement officials stunned has filed a notice of intent to sue.

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

Stephen Boyd of New Rochelle filed a notice Tuesday that he plans to sue the village and town of Mamaroneck, two village officers Anthony Colletti and Michael Bonacci, Westchester County and Child Protective Services for negligence, said Martin Rosen, his personal attorney. 

The notice alleges that his daughter, 3-year-old Gabriella Body, died due to the failure of the village, the village police, the county, and Child Protective Services to enforce a court order granting him custody of the toddler just one day before she died.

Cynthia Arce, the girl’s mother, has been indicted on two counts of aggravated attempted murder of a police officer for stabbing two Village of Mamaroneck officers when they responded to a Chestnut Avenue home on April 28 following a 911 call for help.

Arce survived being shot three times by police during her attack as they attempted to offer aid to the child. She is currently being held at the Westchester County Jail.

The filing said officials "were negligent in the performance of their respective duties to protect this deceased infant, in contempt of a court order to secure her safety." 

It also alleges that the 3-year-old died "apparently by her mother's hand."

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.

When Boyd went to the home with police, she refused and slammed the door. 

"Incredibly, the officers decided to leave the scene, apparently either unaware of what their duties were, in denial of them or in complete ignorance of them," the notice said. 

Westchester County officials confirmed that a caseworker visited Arce later that night, but left when she failed to answer the door.

Boyd went back to the police station the next day in an attempt to have them execute the order, but his attorney said they refused. 

Hours later the child was dead.

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