In South Bend, Ind., a 25-year-old woman is being charged with battery on her 4-year- old daughter in a parking lot.
Madelyne Toogood had been at the Kohl’s department store on Sept. 13, attempting to return a few pairs of jeans.
Toogood had brought her daughter Martha along, who she claims was misbehaving in the store. She said the girl was running down store aisles, hiding and playing with toys she found. The store paged Toogood twice to control her daughter. When Toogood refused a refund on the jeans, security officials began to question her behavior.
The officals suspicion led them to watch her on their security camera, located outside of the store, with a view of the parking lot.
The surveillance footage caught Toogood dragging Martha from the store and thrusting her into their SUV. After glancing around nervously, as if to make sure no one was watching, Toogood began smacking and shaking the child, even pulling on her hair. Security came to the scene and Toogood was placed under arrest.
Though Martha is not suffering visible injuries, she has been placed in a foster home for the time being. Her parents have limited visitation rights.
The judge ordered a child-protection investigation before he will grant other family members permission to care for Martha. The two sons of Madelyne and John Toogood are being cared for by relatives.
Toogood has pleaded not guilty to the charge of battery on a child, a sentence that could carry a penalty of up to three years in prison. Legal experts said it would be possible for her to reach a plea bargain with the St. Joseph County prosecutors.
Toogood said she and her husband are planning to take parenting classes when the situation is settled. Her trial date is set for Oct. 7.