A New York Police Department officer and his fiancée have been charged with murder in the death of the officer’s 8-year-old son on Long Island, authorities said Friday.
Michael Valva, 40, and Angela Pollina, 42, were arrested on second-degree murder charges, Suffolk County police said.
The child, Thomas Valva, was pronounced dead at a hospital on Jan. 17 after police responded to a report that he had fallen in the driveway of a home in Center Moriches. An autopsy was ordered to determine how he died.
The child’s mother, Justyna Zubko-Valva, told Newsday that her son was a second-grader.
Zubko-Valva, 36, a correction officer on Rikers Island who lives in Valley Stream, described her son as a “loving, happy boy, always looking for adventure, loving playing outside.”
Zubko-Valva said Thomas had a mild form of autism.
He “had such an amazing good heart,” she said. “Everybody who knew him, they instantly fell in love with him. He was just a joy of everybody’s life.”
Valva, who joined the NYPD in 2005 and is assigned to transit, has been suspended without pay, the department said.
The defendants were awaiting arraignment. There was no immediate information on attorneys who could comment on their behalf.