PALMDALE – A two-year-old boy was airlifted to the hospital Friday after he was allegedly beaten by a 27-year-old woman near a Palmdale bus stop, authorities said.
A passerby witnessed the incident around 12:42 p.m. near 10th Street East and Palmdale Boulevard, according to Lt. Harris of the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station.
“I won’t get into specifics, but the caller reported that she saw this person walking, and that they had a belt and they were hitting the child,” Harris said.
“The deputies responded out there and were able to determine there was a felony child assault that appeared to have occurred involving a two-year-old child and the child’s mother,” Harris said.
The suspect, Palmdale resident Michelle Fletcher, also had an eight-month-old baby in a stroller. The baby was taken into protective custody, while the two-year-old was airlifted to Children’s Hospital for observation, according to Harris.
“The child was conscious and breathing, but airlifted as a precaution,” Harris said. “Apparently he was a little bit woozy and unresponsive.”
Fletcher was arrested on suspicion of felony child cruelty and assault, Harris said.
No further information on the two-year-old’s condition was immediately available Friday afternoon. The case is being handled by the Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victim’s Bureau, Harris said.
UPDATED 2/21/14 @ 7:45 pm: CORRECTION
Michelle Fletcher is NOT the mother of the 2-year-old, but is the mother of the 8-month-old, according to a Palmdale Sheriff’s Station news release issued minutes ago. Fletcher was allegedly kicking the 2-year-old and using a belt to assault him. The child has been evaluated and he is listed in “good condition.”
Fletcher’s 8-month-old baby was taken into protective custody, and the Department of Children and Family Services is investigating and making the determination as to child protection and placement concerns.
Fletcher was booked at the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station and is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending future court proceedings.
Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is asked to contact the Special Victims Bureau at (877) 710-5273.