NY autistic boy found frozen to death was tortured by cop father who beat him and barred him from using toilet
LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK: The abuse eight-year-old Thomas Valva suffered at the hands of his NYPD officer dad in the months and year before he was found dead in the garage at his family was recorded on home security cameras, it has been revealed.
Michael Valva, 42, had called 911 on the morning of January 17 this year to report that his son had fallen while waiting for his school bus outside their Long Island, New York home and was unconscious. Emergency medical personnel who responded to the scene transported him to Long Island Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, and it emerged that he had not died of an accident.
Police said he had suffered head and facial injuries that were "not consistent with his father's account," pointing out that his body temperature, which was 76 when he was found, indicated he had been dead for a few hours before Valva called 911.
A medical examiner ruled his death a homicide and stated hypothermia was a factor, and Valva and his fiancée Angela Pollina, 42, were arrested.
During subsequent investigations, detectives uncovered home security cameras that the couple used to monitor Thomas, who was autistic, and their five other children, and which had recorded the young boy's disturbing last few days alive.
One camera found in the garage was labeled "kids room" and two nights before Thomas's death, recorded him and his brother Anthony, 10, shivering as they slept on the freezing garage floor. On the day of his death, Thomas allegedly kept falling over and "face-planting" on the garage's concrete floor, prompting Anthony to ask, "Why can't Thomas walk?"
"When you’re washed with cold water and it’s freezing, you get hypothermia," Pollina tells him in an audio recording prosecutors played in court.
Valva, on the other hand, mocks his son and says, "Because he’s cold. Boo f–king hoo."
The abuse the two brothers were subjected to was further detailed in two videos released by Valva's ex, Justyna Zubko-Valva. In the videos, Andrew Valva, 6, says he and his brothers were made to sleep in the garage, which was as "cold as snow," with no pillows, were rarely fed, and had "bruises everywhere" from regular beatings.
He revealed they were thrown into the garage for peeing themselves, but that it only happened because they were not allowed to use the bathroom for days on end. "Staying in the room for three days, not going pee, and not doing anything. And getting slapped in the butt," he said.
He said they were made to stay in the garage every day and were "never" allowed anywhere else, before adding that they were fed "just a sandwich" and "only once a day."
Valva and Pollina have been charged with second-degree murder in connection to Thomas's death. They have pleaded not guilty.