Mom accused of swinging baby like bat appears in front of judge - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Mom accused of swinging baby like bat appears in front of judge

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NAUGATUCK, CT (WFSB) -

A Naugatuck mother accused of grabbing her baby girl by the legs and swinging her around appeared in court Friday.

Police were called to Maple Street in the area of Nelson's Pharmacy Inc. around 6:30 p.m. after getting reports that a woman, later identified as Aurora Houghtaling, was swinging her daughter by the legs like a baseball bat.

"An officer actually observed the woman swinging," Naugatuck Police Lt. Brian Cammaratta said. "He described it as being swung like a baseball bat."

Police said they knew Houghtaling was on drugs as soon as they approached her. She later told police she was snorting Ritalin with a straw. Officers found a prescription for 60 Ritalin pills filled this week, but she only had 44 pills left.

Officers said when they tried to take her daughter from her, she started swearing and began to talk nonsense.

"There's a woman who is holding a baby running down the road yelling ‘save us,'" the caller said during the 911 call to police.

Just a day before, police said they were called to a McDonald's on New Haven Road in Naugatuck after Houghtaling walked in and started screaming.

"She went into the bathroom and came out screaming, 'If nobody calls the cops, I'm going to kill everyone in here and kill myself,'" said Raymond Francisquini, whose sister works at the restaurant.

The baby was brought to Hartford Hospital as a precaution.

"We do not know the full extent of any injuries, if any to the child," the prosecutor said in court. "So any injuries that are noted as we go further will impact the seriousness of the charges."

The Department of Children and Families is now involved.

Houghtaling was charged with breach of peace, risk of injury to child, second-degree failure to appear and interfering with officer/resisting arrest.

After being taken to the hospital for evaluation, Houghtaling was arraigned in court on Friday. The judge placed a protective order for the child against Houghtaling.

Police placed Houghtaling on suicide watch and she is being held on $100,500 bond. 

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