Thank goodness a father of a 3-year-old boy happened to be dropping off his son at a local Minneapolis daycare when he heard the screams of a 16-month-old boy, hanging from a homemade noose in the basement.
The Ukranian immigrant woman who hung the boy from a noose is the licensed owner of the daycare in Minneapolis, MN, where the crime was committed. 43-year-old Nataliia Karia has only been in the United States since 2006. After she was caught hanging the boy from a noose in the basement by a parent of one the children she cares for, she fled the scene, and continued to commit several more crimes, including hitting a bicyclist, a vehicle and a pedestrian, who she dragged for several blocks with her vehicle.
According to the Star Tribune, The judge in the case pointed to a “perfect storm” of circumstances Monday when he spared prison for a Minneapolis home day-care operator who attempted to hang a toddler in the basement before fleeing in her minivan and leaving a trail of mayhem, seriously injuring two people.
Nataliia Karia, 43, abandoned a possible insanity defense and pleaded guilty in February to attempted murder in connection with the hanging of the boy from a noose in November 2016 inside the home in the 2700 block of Humboldt Avenue S.
The 16-month-old survived after a parent dropping off a child intervened and took the noose from the boy’s neck.
Karia also admitted before Hennepin County District Judge Jay Quam to third-degree assault for striking a pedestrian, another driver and a bicyclist as she fled in her minivan. She was snatched from a Minneapolis freeway overpass, ready to jump, and taken into custody.
After a two-hour hearing, Karia received a 10-year probationary sentence, with credit for the 20 months in jail. She also must follow court-ordered mental health treatment and electronic home monitoring for at least two months. She will live with her adult son but cannot have unsupervised contact with her daughters or other minors. Karia’s three other children are ages 2, 7 and 10, and child protection proceedings continue over her fitness as a parent.
She first ran over a man who had gotten out of his car at the intersection of W. 28th Street and Grand Avenue S. to inspect the damage after the car behind him slammed into him when Karia rear-ended it, the complaint said. The pedestrian, identified by his attorney as 37-year-old Salvador Lema, was dragged for about 10 blocks and suffered a broken ankle and ribs and scrapes, according to police. Lema, a husband, and father of four from Minneapolis was at HCMC and was upgraded from critical to serious condition from burns inflicted on his back while being dragged and still more burns to the front of his body from the heat off the van.
Police said Karia later ran a red light and struck 29-year-old bicyclist, Jacob Carrigan of Minneapolis, at E. 28th Street and Park Avenue S., nearly 2 miles east of the daycare. Carrigan suffered broken bones and had to have a rod surgically implanted into his leg, the complaint said.
Karia later struck another car driven by a pregnant woman before pulling over near the Park Avenue overpass above I-94, where she was threatening to jump onto the highway, police said. Several passersby held her down until police could take her into custody.
In deciding against prison time, Quam agreed with the assessment by doctors that Karia was “a low risk” to re-offend. He called her actions “the perfect storm of factors unlikely to ever be repeated.” He said Karia’s “was one of the hardest cases I’ve ever had. … There are no easy answers here.”
Karia, who fought back tears and low sobs throughout the hearing, read a statement in Russian spelling out in great detail the abuses she alleges her husband inflicted upon her and her children since they arrived at the United States from Ukraine in 2006. She said he hit and threatened to kill her, drove the family into financial ruin, forced her to work despite her psychological struggles and prevented her from getting medical attention.
“I don’t want to push this terrible crime onto my husband. I just want to explain what happened,” she said, her words interpreted to English. “Your Honor, my children need me … Give me a chance to resume a normal life.”