Reporting Bill Hudson
ROCHESTER (WCCO) — Around 6 a.m. on the morning of March 1, Chika Njemanze awoke to her son Xavier’s cries. But it wasn’t the normal sound of a toddler’s hunger, but rather a shriek of panic and pain. She would find him bleeding profusely after being brutally stabbed by a former boyfriend.
“I guess I still have no words for it,” said Njemanze.
Njemanze says 23-year-old Antonio Roebuck broke into their apartment and stabbed the child in a jealous rage. According to investigators, Roebuck was upset over a recent breakup with Njemanze. He grabbed several steak knives and a bottle of vodka and broke into the family’s apartment.
Njemanze’s boyfriend and a brother were also stabbed during the intrusion, but little Xavier was hurt the worst. Police officers dispatched to the scene described the boy’s intestines protruding from the stab wound to his abdomen.
“He was stabbed five times. Two stab wounds in the chest, two in the back and one where his bowels are, around his belly button area,” said Njemanze.
Her son spent the first two weeks in the intensive care unit of St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, where he would mark his second birthday. Weeks later, birthday balloons and get-well banners hang at his bedside.
Chika says it’s been a collection of family, friends and faith that have helped her through this nightmare.
“I feel I’m more blessed than lucky right now,” said the young mother.
After 33 straight days at her son’s bedside, Njemanze can slowly see progress.
“It’s definitely been traumatizing,” Njemanze said.
She tries not to think of the evil would lead a person to inflict such pain on an innocent child. As for answers, she says there are none.
“Because there’s no good enough reason to justify what this man did to my son, my family,” said Njemanze.
It’s a horrible attack she’ll slowly forget with each precious breath of her little boy.
“To hear his voice is so comforting, that he’s going to be OK,” said Njemanze.
The stabbing caused Xavier to lose a large quantity of blood. The lack of blood flow to his brain affected the area that controls motor skills, the use of arms and legs, speech and eyesight. The need for intense physical and occupational therapy will be extensive and mean that Xavier will be in the hospital for weeks to come.
Meantime, Antonio Roebuck is charged with attempted murder and is being held on $1 million bail. His next court appearance is set for April 25 in Olmstead County Court.
To help the family with extensive medical bills and to draw awareness to domestic violence programs, a Njemanze Family Benefit is being held on Sunday, April 15 between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Wicked Moose Bar and Grill in Rochester. There will be a silent auction, bake sale, raffle, kid’s carnival and live music.
If you are interested in making a monetary donation to the fund you may do so at any Wells Fargo Bank through the Njemanze Family Benefit. For more information, click here.