This story is amongst several stories that we hear on the news daily about parents harming their own children. Parents are drowning their children, stabbing them, beating them to death, throwing them off buildings and bridges, etc. It is so sad to hear about the loss of innocent lives. This lady appears to be suffering from a mental illness, but I have to believe that so are the others. What mother or father in their right mind would harm their own child? Thankfully, this little boy survived the fall, but will live with this for the rest of his life. This must stop. Please keep this little boy and all of our children in your prayers.
Woman jumps from window of St. Pete home with 7-year-old child
Posted: Mar 05, 2015 8:09 AM EST
Updated: Mar 05, 2015 11:13 PM EST
By Jeff Patterson
ST PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) – Police say a St. Petersburg woman forced her son to jump out of a second story window. The woman, 32-year-old Michelle Vail, will be charged with aggravated child abuse. The boy will be taken into DCF custody.
At around 6:38 this morning, officers were called to a second floor apartment on the 300 block of 7th Avenue North.
Vail had made a frightened, distraught call to 911. Officers describe Vail as deranged. She thought there was a serial killer at her door.
“She was saying that….her ex-boyfriend was at the door, that she needed police, that he was coming in,” said St. Petersburg Police Department spokesperson Yolanda Fernandez.
But when officers arrived, they didn't see anybody, and oddly, Vail would not allow the officers to come inside and she started yelling at them.
“When they got here, there was no one here and when they went upstairs, she said, ‘no you're not the real police! Go away! I don't believe you!” said Fernandez when describing what happened.
"She was incoherent, not really making a whole lot of sense,” Major Michael Kovacsev said.
The officers began to leave when they discovered that Vail had a shotgun. Then, they heard her 7-year-old son Oscar screaming and glass breaking. As police tried to get inside, Vail allegedly smashed a window, dropped her weapon and ordered her son to jump.
Moments later, Oscar and his mother were lying on the ground, outside of the second story apartment.
"She told him there was a serial killer coming after them, and she had smashed out the window so he could exit the residence,” Kovacsev said.
The two were immediately taken to a hospital for treatment, but officers say they will be ok.
A neighbor said Vail has only been in St. Pete for a few weeks.
"We were there when she moved in and she just seemed really nice whenever we said hi to each other,” Marge Levy said. "Why would she be pushed to be so scared of something and to go to that extreme?"
"I'm not here to judge or assume anything so I just hope that she's OK," Levy added.
Police said Vail has no criminal history. They aren't sure if she suffers from mental illness or if drugs are involved.
There have been other recent Florida cases of parents harming their children.
John Jonchuck is accused of killing his 5-year-old daughter by dropping her off of a bridge on the approach to the Sunshine Skyway.
Julie Schenecker was convicted of killing her children.
But experts say cases of parents harming their own children are rare.
Psychologist Nekishia Hammond said when children hear these stories they can be disturbing and parents should talk with them.
"You want to be honest with them because they are going to see that they happen, and unfortunately they will happen again,' But with our family here's the ways we show you love, you're safe here, it's okay," Hammond said.
Hammond said it's important to have the discussion in an age appropriate and reassuring way.
"So you want to reassure them that, Some mommies and daddies, not many, but some mommies and daddies do hurt their children, but we don't hurt you. You're safe,'" she said
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