Crime

Blaine woman allegedly used belt on kids, leaving marks, for not going to bed on time

A Blaine woman was arrested Dec. 13 after she allegedly used a belt with a large metal end for “several minutes” on two children she was familiar with, leaving marks on their bodies.

Akilah Lee Marie Price, 31, was booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of third-degree assault of a child, according to jail records.

According to Whatcom County Superior Court records filed Monday and released Thursday, the Blaine Police Department was contacted by Child Protective Services on Dec. 12 regarding two suspected child abuse cases of an pre-teen girl and her younger brother.

“Officer Jon Landis investigated the case and found that probable cause existed for the arrest of Ms. Price for felony assault ... “ Blaine Police Sgt. Michael Munden told The Bellingham Herald in an email Wednesday. “Ms. Price cooperated with the investigation and was arrested without incident.”

According to court records, CPS was contacted after the boy told his counselor that Price hit him seven to eight times with a belt and then hit his sister because they were not going to bed.

Photos were taken of the boy’s stomach, showing marks 4 to 5 inches long, and his left arm, which had a fingernail gouge at his inner elbow, court records said. The boy’s grandmother also took pictures of a welted belt mark across his upper right leg.

A school counselor also met with the girl, court records state, and she said that her younger brother came into her bedroom because he was scared and began to talk to her. She told him to be quiet, but it was too late.

Price came into the room and “started to go off” on the boy and then started to hit him with the large belt with the metal end for several minutes, court records state. The girl then yelled at Price to stop, resulting in Price hitting her leg with the belt.

The girl tried to run away into the bathroom, but she slipped and fell onto the bathtub, court records said, and Price continued to use the belt on her and yell profanities at her for not cleaning the bathroom. The girl said Price told her she was “worthless,” “you don’t make me happy,” “I hate you” and “wish you were never born,” court records state. Pictures of the girls’ left leg showed two red welted belt marks.

During an interview at the police station and after she had been advised of her rights, Price admitted to using the belt on the boy and the girl because they were not in bed like they were supposed to be and “their rooms were extreme filth,” court records state. But Price said she did not know she left marks and said she was attempting to hit the boy’s lower torso with the belt but he kept moving.

She also reportedly said she had used the belt to discipline the kids before but that it didn’t leave marks.

Price was released from jail Dec. 14 on personal recognizance, according to jail records. Court records showed a no-contact order was filed Dec. 14, preventing her from contacting the children unless it is approved and supervised by CPS.

Resources

If you or a child you know is the victim of abuse or neglect in Whatcom County call 866-829-2153.

The Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families website offers this information about what you will be asked:

“Questions that will be asked when you call: The name, address and age of the child. The name and address of the child’s parent, guardian or other persons having custody of the child. The nature and extent of the abuse or neglect. Any evidence of previous incidences. Any other information which may be helpful in establishing the cause of the child’s abuse or neglect and the identity of the perpetrator. You do not need to have all of the above information when you call to make a report, but the more accurate information you can provide, the better equipped the offices will be to assess the child’s safety.”

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.

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