NYPD officer, fiancee arraigned on 6 complaints of neglect, abuse following 8-year-old's death
The NYPD officer and his fiancée who are accused in the death of the officer's 8-year-old son were in family court Monday, where they were hit with six new charges of neglect and abuse.
Michael Valva and Angela Pollina were both arraigned in Central Islip on six complaints they neglected and abused all six of the children in their care. One of them, 8-year-old Thomas Valva, died after police say he was forced to sleep in a freezing garage.
Justyna Zubko-Valva came to family court in Suffolk Monday to see her ex-husband and his fiancee's arraignment.
"I told the judges, if you're not going to remove my children, they're going to die," says Justyna Valva. "That death was preventable, I kept filing numerous, numerous complaints."
The family court extended Justyna Valva's temporary custody of her two surviving sons. The judge also held a hearing trying to decide what will happen to Pollina's three young daughters. The two biological fathers of the three girls came to court to fight for custody.
"I've always wanted to be in my daughter's life, there's not been one day I've not wanted to be in my daughter's life," says Gino Cali, the biological father of one of Callina's daughters.
"I'm hoping those two fathers are going to get the custody of those children, where the children are now," says Justyna Valva. "It's just not safe."
While the judge makes this decision, both Pollina and Valva remain held without bail on the criminal charges in the death of Thomas Valva.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced Monday night that members of the Internal Review Committee are performing a top-to-bottom review of the Thomas Valva case in the Department of Social Services.