Lafayette woman sentenced after throwing child from hood of car

Undated booking photo shows Kathleen Smith. (Photo Provided/Tippecanoe County Jail)
Undated booking photo shows Kathleen Smith. (Photo Provided/Tippecanoe County Jail)

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — A Lafayette woman who pleaded guilty to charges of battery on a child and neglect of a dependent was sentenced Friday.

A Tippecanoe County judge sentenced Kathleen Smith, 55, to 2 ½ years, with six months in the Tippecanoe County Jail and two years suspended. She also received one year of supervised probation and one year unsupervised.

In early December, Lafayette police responded to Sunnyside Intermediate School on a report that a child “who flew off the hood of a car.” When police arrived, they reviewed school’s surveillance video which verified witnesses’ statements of the events.

Court documents say a car pulled up to Sunnyside and a driver, later identified as Smith, gets out and pulls a child from the back seat of the car. The child opens the back door and tries to re-enter the car, but Smith pulled the kid away from the car and went back around the to driver’s seat.

Documents continue on to say the child attempted to get back in the vehicle, but it appeared the doors were locked. The youth then banged on the door and window before jumping on the hood on the car.

Prosecutors said Smith drove with the child on the hood. Smith accelerated the car about 60 feet before braking. Once she stopped, it caused the child to roll off of the hood and land on the ground. Smith then drove away from the scene.

Witnesses came to rescue to the kid. Smith came back and tried to take the youth back into her car, but witnesses kept Smith from doing so and walked the child into the school. Court documents said Smith then left the scene again.