A child care worker was charged on Saturday with stabbing three infants and two adults inside the maternity center where she was employed, police said.
Three girls, ages 13 days, 22 days and 33 days, suffered serious injuries during the attack on Friday at the home-based overnight nursery on 161st Street known as Mei Xin Care, police and prosecutors said. All three infants were hospitalized in serious but stable condition.
Two adults were also found injured inside the Flushing home when police responded to a call at the location just before 4 a.m.
A woman suffered “stab wounds about the body,” according to police, and a male, the father of one of the infants, was stabbed in the leg.
Police identified 52-year-old YuFen Wang — an employee at the nursery — as the suspect in the attack. She was found unconscious in the basement of the home with self-inflicted slash wounds to her wrist, said police, who “applied a tourniquet” to the wounds.
Wang was taken into police custody and was undergoing a psychological evaluation, police said. Although a motive is not yet clear, police said she was charged with five counts of attempted murder.
All five victims and Wang were taken to NewYork-Presbyterian Queens hospital and are expected to survive, police said.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement that, “we pray that all of the victims will be fine and will survive these injuries. We are hoping these young babies — small and so very fragile — are also strong enough to overcome this horrible act of senseless violence.”
A bloody kitchen knife and meat cleaver were found at the scene, police said.
The home’s address is not included in the Office of Children and Family Services’ online database of licensed day care facilities in the area. However, the NYPD said investigators were presented with “some paperwork” indicating the home was operating as a child care center.
A spokeswoman for OCFS said the center is not licensed or regulated by the agency. By regulation, OCFS-monitored child care programs are not allowed to care for infants less than 6 weeks old unless a facility has received prior approval from the agency, per the spokeswoman.
“OCFS is saddened by this horrific situation and investigating it as a possible illegal operation,” the spokeswoman added.
The city Department of Health has launched its own investigation.
“After the horrific incident at Mei Xin Care in Flushing, the health department is investigating the facility,” a spokesman said. “Although it is still early in the investigation, the department can confirm that there was no home day care license for the location.”
Nine babies and several parents were also at the residence at the time of the attack, according to police.
Both of the adults who were stabbed live at the home, a police spokesman said, adding that the suspect worked at the nursery but did not live there.
Police said they were previously sent to the address in 2011 after receiving a call of children screaming.