- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 22, 2002

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (AP) A mother turned herself in to police yesterday to face a child-battery charge, eight days after a nationally televised videotape depicted her shaking, slapping and punching her 4-year-old daughter in a store parking lot.
Madelyne Gorman Toogood, 26, and her lawyer met police at an undisclosed location and arrived at the police station late yesterday afternoon, Lt. Jeff Giannuzzi said.
The girl showed no signs of injuries, but Child Protective Services will temporarily place her with another family that is not related, prosecutor Chris Toth said yesterday. He said she was being examined at a hospital.
"She's safe. We just have to, at this point, make sure there are not any deeper physical injuries," Mr. Toth said. "She's a sweet, wonderful girl. Physically she looks fine."
An arrest warrant issued Friday charged Mrs. Toogood with battery to a child, which carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison. Earlier, a judge set her bail at $5,000, although prosecutors had requested a $50,000 bail because of her transient history, Mr. Toth said.
After being released from jail on bail, Mrs. Toogood told reporters she was wrong to beat the child but criticized authorities' decision to temporarily place her daughter with another family.
"My child shouldn't pay for a mistake I made," the 26-year-old Mishawaka woman said, insisting that she or many extended members could adequately care for her daughter, Martha Toogood.
"I am not a monster," she said, fighting back tears. "I have three children. Nothing's ever happened before."
Police had been searching for Mrs. Toogood and her daughter since the incident Sept. 13, caught on video by a surveillance camera outside a Kohl's department store in northern Indiana.
Authorities said the mother had left the store angry because she was refused a cash refund for goods. The woman is seen putting her daughter in the back seat of a sport utility vehicle, then pummeling, slapping and shaking her for nearly a half-minute.
Mrs. Toogood's attorney, Steven Rosen of Houston, said Friday that his client regrets the incident.


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