By David Brand
The woman accused of stabbing three infants inside a Flushing home was charged with several counts of attempted murder in Queens Criminal Court Monday.
Yufen Wang worked as a caregiver inside the three-floor home on 161st Street, which was reportedly used as an unlicensed nursery for new mothers and their days-old babies. Wang allegedly stabbed three of the nine infants, the father of one of the babies and a woman, 63, who also worked at the facility in the early morning hours last Friday.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced the charges in a statement Monday.
"The defendant in this case is charged with an unimaginable act — an attack on defenseless, innocent babies,” Brown said. “The defendant was hired to care for and protect the infants, sadly she was the danger. This kind of senseless violence can not go unpunished.”
Legal Aid’s Mihea Kim will serve as defense attorney for Wang, a resident of Cherry Avenue in Flushing.
Wang was arraigned on a criminal complaint charging her with five counts of second-degree attempted murder and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
She will return to court on Oct. 19. If convicted, she faces five to 25 years in prison.
According to the criminal complaint, Wang stabbed the baby girls until one of the fathers saw her and tried to stop her. Wang allegedly stabbed the man, Meng Xu, in the leg and wrist. The coworker was also cut on the face, chest and legs.
A fourth infant sustained a head injury, sources told NY1 Monday.
The infants injured in the alleged attack include a 22-day-old girl who sustained cuts to her face, chest and ear; a 33-day-old girl who sustained injuries to her abdomen and back; and a 13-day-old who sustained cuts to her abdomen, face and chest, according to the DA’s office.
Police found two knives at the scene. Wang was arrested after police found in the basement. She had apparently cut her own neck and wrist, the DA’s office said.
The facility housed nine infants and contained 11 cribs. Reports vary on the function of the building, which was located in a residential community in Flushing.
Initial reports said the home was used as an overnight daycare, but The New York Times reported that the facility may have been used for the purpose of “birth tourism,” a practice in which women from other countries travel to the United States to give birth so that their children are U.S. citizenship.
City Council Member Peter Koo, who represents Flushing, told the Times that the facility may have been used to uphold Chinese and Korean customs of caring for women for one month.
Typically, family members serve that caregiving role, but immigrants without a support system nearby may seek care from businesses developed for that purpose.
“If they don’t have family they rely on outside support,” Koo told the Times.