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Mother Charged With Child Abuse After Child Falls From Escalator

Kanky

Well-Known Member
A mother has been charged
with child abuse after her three year-old son got caught in an airport escalator and died.

Arrests warrants were issued for Jiterria Lightner Tuesday, two months after her boy Jaiden Cowart tumbled to his death at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina.

Lightner, who is a single mother, was returning home from Florida with her three kids at the airport in late September when Jaiden wandered into a gap between an escalator and regular staircase.

He got caught in its handrail and pulled upwards along the outside of the escalator, before breaking free and falling to the ground.

His mother was sat less than 15 feet away trying to arrange a ride home at the time.

The toddler was badly injured, and died in hospital three days later, with a coroner ruling his death was caused by ‘blunt force injuries’ and ‘falling from a height.’

Police initially labeled Jaiden’s death a ‘tragic accident,’ with Lightner’s lawyer Michael Greene telling WCNChe was ‘pretty surprised’ by the charges.

He added: ‘She’s a single mother that was watching three children at an airport and I think the circumstances could have happened to a number of us.

‘I don’t think they rise to the level of a crime.’

Greene said lightner is still devastated by what happened to her son, explaining: ‘To this day, she still can’t recount the story without breaking down.


‘This wasn’t an instance where she was not paying attention to her children.

‘They were between the stairs and the escalators when he was carried up on his arm up the escalator.

‘It appears that he was trying to reach over to grab the stair railing and when he tried to grab the railing, that’s when he took the unfortunate fall.’

Lightner plans to turn herself in to police later this week.

She faces up to 150 days in jail if convicted of all three counts of child abuse, with the other two counts related to the other children she stands accused of neglecting
 

BrickbyBrick

Well-Known Member
I have three children under the age of five. I freak out just getting them out the door and to the car in one piece at pre-school. Kids are fast! And at three years old, they are not about the “stay still” life.

Unless she’s had a history of neglect or there’s video footage and/or credible witnesses of her watching him (or not watching him rather) do this and not doing anything about it, I believe these charges are an overreach, especially for a grieving mother with two other kids to care for. In fact, she may legally be able to sue the airport.
 

Kanky

Well-Known Member
My first thought was that their escalator was dangerous and that they were trying to minimize their own culpability. If they can bully her into pleading guilty or get a jury to convict her then they are off the hook. It shouldn’t be possible to get stuck on the outside of an escalator and dragged up.
 

Ms. Tarabotti

Well-Known Member
Supposedly, they have surveillance video of the children playing around on the escalator (tripping, falling and crawling off) for about an hour while the mother didn't attend to them. A bystander managed to catch the sister but couldn't catch little Jaiden.
 

ThirdEyeBeauty

Well-Known Member
Supposedly, they have surveillance video of the children playing around on the escalator (tripping, falling and crawling off) for about an hour while the mother didn't attend to them. A bystander managed to catch the sister but couldn't catch little Jaiden.
Wow that's sad. But I know YP who got off because they "endured enough" because of their actions or lack thereof.
 
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