May 23, 2018 11:42 AM
Minneapolis police say a woman attempted to hang a 1-year-old child at a home day care Friday morning before fleeing the scene and hitting two people with her vehicle.
Just before 9:30 a.m. Friday, Minneapolis police received a call that 42-year-old Nataliia Karia intentionally tried to hang a toddler at a day care on the 2700 block of Humboldt Avenue South.
A parent dropping off a different child rescued the 16-month-old boy, Minneapolis Assistant Police Chief Kris Arneson said during a news conference. The boy was taken to a hospital and is “doing fine,” Arneson said she was told.
Police say the Karia is not the mother of the child but that the child was "in her care."
"It's horrific, horrific. We never want children to be injured, and that's part of the reason we call in our chaplins because it is a horrific scene for officers," Arneson said.
Authorities believe Karia fled the scene in a gold minivan. Arneson said police received a 911 call at 9:57 a.m. saying a pedestrian had been hit at East 28th Street and Grand Avenue South and was dragged for several blocks by that same gold minivan. Arneson said the man has several broken bones and cuts but is expected to survive.
"We do know that he was dragged several blocks," Arneson said.
"I just saw it was something on the front of the van, but I didn't know it was a person," said Israel Montes, who witnessed the incident.
Police then received another call at 9:59 a.m. saying that same gold minivan hit a bicyclist at East 28th Street and Park Avenue South. The bicyclist, who is also a man, was hospitalized and is in unknown condition.
Witnesses tried stopping Karia, but say she was out of control.
"All I was thinking was to save people's lives, that's all I was thinking," Montes told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.
At 10:06 a.m., police were then called about a person who was on Park Avenue South over the Interstate 94 overpass who was trying to jump. Bystanders were holding the woman down until police arrived, and once officers got to the scene they “joined in the struggle” to keep the woman from going over the edge of the overpass, Arneson said.
Arneson said the 42-year-old is now in custody and is being evaluated at a local hospital.
KSTP Reporter Cleo Greene said documents were filed at 2:07 p.m. suspending the day care license of Nataliia Karia. Hennepin County officials say the day care was licensed to Karia in 2009 and that there have been no previous issues with the provider.
Six investigators are working on the case, including the homicide division and the crimes against children division. Arneson said police are also working with Hennepin County child protection workers, and the Minneapolis State Patrol is helping with the investigation into the hit-and-runs.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS spoke with a family member of the bicyclist injured in the incident who says the man has two broken bones in his leg and will need surgery, but he's "in good spirits".
Arneson said the motive is still unclear.
Updated: May 23, 2018 11:42 AM
Created: November 18, 2016 10:42 AM
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