A shoeless 9-year-old clad in pajamas ran into his school Wednesday, crying and screaming "hysterically" as he sought refuge from a stepmother who allegedly attacked him with a baseball bat, according to charges filed Friday.
"My mom is trying to kill me," the boy said as he fled into Dayton's Bluff Achievement Plus Elementary School in St. Paul. "Don't let me go back to her."
The boy's stepmother, Tashay C. Johnson, 24, allegedly chased him in the school and earlier hollered "I'm going to kill you," the charges said.
Johnson, of St. Paul, was charged in Ramsey County District Court with terroristic threats and malicious punishment of a child. The charges allege that her stepson had swelling on the left side of his head near the temple and ear, several marks on his left arm consistent with a belt, a scratch near his left eye and scratches on his neck.
According to the complaint: The boy told police that he had been escorted home earlier that day by a teacher, who spoke with Johnson about the boy's behavioral problems in school that day. The boy told police that once the teacher left his home, Johnson told him he was going to get a "whooping." She allegedly hit him with a bat, her fist and a belt.
"Johnson was still very upset with [the boy] after she'd struck him several times "[The boy] said Johnson said, 'I'm going to grab the gun and kill you,' referring to firearms that a relative hides in the garage."
That's when the boy fled to his school.
Police confronted Johnson at the family's home, located about a block from the school, she denied hitting the boy. "I don't know," she allegedly said when asked about the origins of his injuries. "I never hit him."
Johnson agreed to speak with police, the complaint said, and told them that the boy is developmentally delayed. She said that after the teacher left, she phoned the boy's father, who instructed her to make the boy squat in a corner as punishment.
"Johnson said she was trying to get him to squat in the corner, but he kept running around the house," the complaint said.
Johnson allegedly told police that she informed the boy she was going to call his father, prompting the boy to flee to his school.
Johnson denied hitting the boy or threatening to kill him.