A St. Paul woman said she “snapped” before throwing her 11-year-old autistic son over their fourth-floor apartment balcony Monday morning, charges say.
Itayvia D. Lloyd, 33, was charged Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court with attempted murder in connection with the attack, which left the boy hospitalized with serious injuries. She remains jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail.
A resident at the St. Anthony Park neighborhood apartment complex on Hampden Avenue called 911 around 8:40 a.m. Monday reporting an attempted suicide after witnessing what the resident thought was a child jumping off an upper-floor balcony.
Responding officers found the boy, who was wearing only underwear, suffering from traumatic injuries in the building’s courtyard. He was conscious and breathing but unable to speak. An officer attempting to brace his neck felt broken bones in his face.
Paramedics took him to Children’s Minnesota but were quickly redirected to Regions Hospital due to the nature of his injuries. The child, who is expected to survive, underwent emergency surgery to repair at least one broken femur, a fractured jaw and head injuries, authorities said. He remains hospitalized in unknown condition.
“This is certainly one of the most tragic cases that has happened during my time as [Ramsey] County Attorney,” John Choi said in a statement. “My heart breaks for this 11-year-old boy who is recovering from his massive injuries and for this family.”
According to the criminal complaint: Police pounding on the Lloyds’ apartment door that morning were greeted by a 6-year-old sibling, who appeared to be physically unharmed. When asked what happened, he told authorities Lloyd and his stepmother had been fighting before Lloyd “got mad” and tossed his brother over the balcony. The 6-year-old was later placed into protective custody.
Officers found the mother lying naked in the bathtub, unresponsive to their questions.
After getting dressed and heading downtown for an interview with investigators, Lloyd “spoke incoherently and in a disjointed manner” about that morning’s events. She claimed she didn’t remember much because she’d been smoking marijuana but admitted, “My son … was on the top bunk playing around as usual, but this morning, I threw that kid off the balcony,” she said, according to the complaint. “He really fell.”
Lloyd’s girlfriend of three years told police that the 11-year-old boy has autism and is largely nonverbal, using only “yes” and “no” to communicate. The woman described Lloyd as being “out of her mind” and not acting like herself lately, the complaint said. The girlfriend claimed she’d left that morning to run to the vending machine downstairs and, when she returned, the older boy was missing. After searching the complex, she found him lying on the ground outside, where she stayed with him until medics arrived.
The girlfriend denied that she’d been fighting with Lloyd that day, opining that the younger boy had actually heard Lloyd talking to herself.
On Tuesday, in a second interview with police, Lloyd told investigators that she’d been struggling with drinking, had been under a lot of stress and wasn’t in her right state of mind.
When pressed on the attack, Lloyd explained that she was mad about a fight she’d had with her girlfriend and “I snapped,” court records show. “At the time, her rage was so intense that she wanted her son dead,” the complaint said.
Officers asked about the difficulty of raising a child with special needs. She admitted to worrying about his future due to his medical issues.
“In that moment were you trying to kill him?” an investigator asked her, according to charges. She paused, then said: “Yes, but I want my baby here.”
Lloyd has no criminal record in Minnesota beyond some traffic violations.
She was also charged with two counts of assaulting a peace officer after allegedly punching and spitting on two officers booking her into jail.