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Police claim Arizona mother beat her children for going maskless after contracting COVID-19

A Wickenburg, Arizona mom is in very hot water after allegedly beating her kids and stepchildren because they went maskless after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, officials said. Sarah Michelle Boone, 32, has a previous record for domestic abuse. She was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and three counts each of child abuse and assault, court charging documents obtained Thursday by The Associated Press show.

Wickenburg police responded on Saturday, Dec. 26 around 7 p.m. to the woman’s house last weekend after a complaint was called in. She allegedly kicked a boy while he was on the floor, struck another child in the face, and picked up the third child by the neck, all allegedly because the children were not wearing masks despite having tested positive for the virus. She just snapped.

The caller, who was one of the victims, said Boone acted as she did “because the children all tested positive for COVID but were not wearing masks,” according to the probable cause statement.

Police say the children are between the ages of 5 and 14 years-old and they did not need to go to the hospital after the incident.

Boone left the scene before the police got there but they found her walking down the street. When approached by officers, court docs say Boone did not respond to instructions and when officers tried to place her under arrest, she resisted, was taken to the ground, and was tased by officers.

Police say they have encountered Boone on three previous incidents of domestic violence. They also indicated that Boone is an alcoholic and was under the influence when she struck the children. She was arrested in September on similar charges involving the same kids. In November, they responded to her home twice for domestic violence involving the children as well.

The mother was taken to a Maricopa County jail. She was released Tuesday on a $5,000 bond and is instructed to not initiate contact with her children if released on bond, said Calbert Gillett, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. Her status conference was scheduled for Monday, and her preliminary hearing was set for Wednesday.

“This is heartbreaking. Child abuse is inexcusable, but it’s also preventable,” Claire Louge, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Arizona.

Louge said it’s often overwhelming stress that leads to kids being abused by their parents. In this case, it was substance abuse and stress.

“Stress tends to build so the job of prevention is really to help parents cope with that stress, and also to remove as much stress as possible. So, connect them to things that they need that might alleviate stress,” Louge said.

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