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Suspect in Girl's Taped Beating to Surrender, Lawyer Says

September 21, 2002|From Associated Press

MISHAWAKA, Ind. — A woman wanted in connection with the videotaped beating of her 4-year-old daughter outside a department store will turn herself in to authorities in Chicago, a lawyer said Friday night.

Stephen Rosen, a Texas lawyer who said he represents Madelyne Gorman Toogood, held a news conference in Chicago several hours after he contacted police, who have been searching for Toogood and her daughter.

"It was a bad choice, and it was captured on Candid Camera," Rosen said. "She's very remorseful. She regrets it."

Police in Mishawaka, between South Bend and Elkhart about 90 miles east of Chicago, said that they had been in contact with Rosen by phone, but they had no specific information about when or where Toogood might surrender.

Authorities feared the girl, Martha Toogood, might have been seriously injured when she was hit and shaken Sept. 13 outside a department store in Mishawaka.

Rosen said Toogood's extended family members and friends told him the child was fine, but police said they wanted to get the girl medical attention.

"We want to get her to an emergency room and let them examine her," Police Chief Anthony A. Hazen said hours before Rosen's news conference. "That's our biggest concern right now."

An arrest warrant issued Friday charged the mother with battery to a child.

The video showed a woman placing the girl onto the back seat of a sport utility vehicle in the store's parking lot, then pummeling, slapping and shaking her for several seconds.

The episode happened after the woman left the store angry about being refused a cash refund, authorities said.

Toogood's sister, Margaret Daley, 31, who authorities say was with her at the store, was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor count of failure to report child abuse.

Prosecutors later added a charge of assisting a criminal.

Police received more than 1,000 calls about the videotape, which was first aired Wednesday night by local stations seeking the identity of the woman and the girl.

Security personnel from the Kohl's store notified police about the incident, said Susan Henderson, a spokeswoman for the retail chain, based in suburban Milwaukee.

Texas authorities said Toogood is wanted on unrelated warrants there, including failure to pay a traffic ticket, and failure to appear in court to face theft charges.

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