Broward County

A 2-month-old stopped breathing while he was in daycare. BSO is investigating the death.

A 2-month-old boy has died after Broward Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call about a child not breathing at a West Park home around 3:15 p.m. Thursday.

According to BSO spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright, Ashton Petion of Hallandale Beach was being cared for in a home in the 4600 block of Southwest 22nd Street with other infants and toddlers. Petion died at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Coleman-Wright said.

The other children at the West Park home went home with their parents on Thursday, BSO said.

Reached by phone, his grandmother said that Ashton “was an angel.”

Officers have not said if the home was registered as a daycare facility. An investigation is ongoing, but foul play is not suspected, according to the sheriff’s office.

The West Park neighborhood in south Broward is a quiet stretch of single-family homes with a city park nearby. A church down the street, New Macedonia Baptist Church, does not have a preschool, church member Dora Dean said.

The area was quiet on Friday afternoon, compared to the flurry of sheriff cars and ambulances neighbors said were up and down the block the day before.

The homeowners where Petion was staying could not be immediately reached for comment.

William Karp, the division manager of Broward County Child Care Licensing & Enforcement, said nine kids were home when Petion stopped breathing. The department is looking into whether the operation needed a daycare license. If it were operating as a childcare center without one, the owner would get a cease and desist order and be fined $250, he said. If the owner was watching over relatives, he or she would not need a license, he said.

Florida Department of Children and Families records show no licensed childcare centers along the block.

Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.
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