With the branches of a crab-apple tree and sheer providence breaking his fall, a 2-year-old boy who police said was thrown by his grandmother from the eighth floor of a Brooklyn housing complex managed to survive with only minor injuries after landing in the fallow soil of a lone flower bed.

Police said the boy, Bishme Owens, was being treated for a broken arm and bruises Tuesday after his grandmother, a 55-year-old with a history of mental illness, tossed him to the ground Monday night, discarding him like the old clothes she was commonly seen throwing off the balcony."It's quite remarkable that a child that young can be so resilient," said Malcolm Kafka, an administrator at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center, where the toddler was taken. "Now he'll have to go on and accomplish great things with his life."

But neighbors at the Linden Plaza apartments, a city-subsidized housing complex, were only surprised at the boy's remarkable survival, not the incident itself.

For years, residents said, they have warned their children to avoid the woman, Ruby Owens, whose psychiatric problems, hostile behavior and habit of throwing objects off her balcony had earned her the nickname Crazy Ruby. The woman, who was charged with assault, child abuse and endangering a child's welfare, was taken to Kings County Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.