The disgraced NYPD cop charged with murdering his 8-year-old son wiped away tears in a Long Island courtroom Tuesday as prosecutors played the chilling 911 call he placed the day of the boy’s death.
A weathered-looking Michael Valva and his fiancée Angela Pollina got choked up as they sat on opposite ends of a table in Suffolk County Supreme Court when the call was played at a pre-trial hearing.
During the Jan. 17, 2020, call, Valva could be heard telling an operator that his son Thomas had “stopped breathing.”
“He fell down and banged his head,” Valva said during the call. “I don’t know if he’s breathing or not … His heart stopped. He banged his head pretty good.”
Valva later questioned the 911 operator whether it was normal for his son’s stomach to be filling up with air during CPR.
“His belly is filling up, like it’s filling up with air,” Valva said.
The dispatcher had asked Valva, “Are you sure he’s not breathing?” prompting the cop to respond, “I don’t know, to be honest,” while letting out what sounded like a nervous chuckle.
As first responders arrived at the couple’s Center Moriches home, Valva could be heard pleading in the audio, “Please help me.”
“He banged his head,” Valva said, explaining that he had put Thomas in the shower. “He was OK. I got him dressed.”
Valva and Pollina are accused of torturing Thomas to death — authorities say the boy died last year from extreme hypothermia after being locked in the couple’s freezing cold garage overnight.
The two were charged with second-degree murder for allegedly leaving Thomas in the unheated garage while it was only 19 degrees outside.
Valva’s lawyer John LoTurco told reporters it was the “first time” his client heard the 911 call.
“So, that was an emotional moment for him and I imagine for Angela as well,” LoTurco said.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Long Island cop Cassidy Lessard testified about being the first officer to administer aid to Thomas.
Valva was on the phone kneeling by his son’s head when she arrived on the scene, Lessard said.
Thomas never showed any signs of improvement and she noted he did not have a pulse at the time.
“He was cold to the touch,” Lessard testified.