A woman, who says she was trying to stab a dog that stole her Burger King chicken sandwich, ended up stabbing her niece instead, critically wounding her.
Sharon Key, 32, is facing a felony charge of criminal recklessness after she stabbed her one-year-old niece at a hotel in the Castleton neighborhood of Indianapolis, Indiana on Tuesday night, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said.
The infant was taken to a local hospital in critical condition and is expected to survive. However, she was left with stitches in her ear and head and a fractured temporal bone, according to a probable cause affidavit for Key’s arrest.
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Chain of events
The child’s mother told police she was giving her son a bath when the stabbing occurred and that her sister fled the hotel room afterward.
She said she'd put her daughter down on one of the hotel beds after returning to the room from Burger King and was getting the bath ready for her son, when she heard a commotion. She walked out of the bathroom to see her sister holding a knife and her daughter bloody and screaming on the hotel bed, she told police.
Key told her sister that the stabbing was an accident and fled from the hotel room as the child's mother applied pressure to the stab wound and called 911.
Surveillance video from outside the hotel corroborated the mother’s statement to a detective, according to the affidavit.
Three hours after the stabbing, in the early hours of Wednesday, Key was found hiding in a large bush near the hotel with blood on her arms, hands and cellphone and it appeared she was sleeping, police said. The knife was never located after canvassing the area.
In an interview with a detective, Key began to cry hysterically, sharing that she'd never intentionally hurt her niece. She told police the stabbing happened after her Pitbull dog grabbed her Burger King chicken sandwich from the hotel bed and ate it.
Key shared how she tried grabbing the dog to get her sandwich, but it growled at her, which made her angry. That's when she took out her knife and tried stabbing the dog.
The dog started running around the room and then jumped on the bed as she was trying to hit it. Key missed the dog and stabbed her baby niece, according to her statement to investigators.
The tan and white dog was taken by an animal control officer after the incident.
Mental health and drug issues
The child’s mother told police that her sister has drug, mental health and temper issues and that she had been drinking alcohol most of the day but was not intoxicated. She told police she was letting Key stay with her family at the hotel. She'd been dropped off the morning before the stabbing.
Key's initial hearing was scheduled for Friday, Sept. 22, with a jury trial scheduled for Nov. 20.
“The alleged conduct of the defendant placed an innocent child in grave danger. These types of actions will not be tolerated," Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears shared in a statement to USA TODAY.
An employee at the front desk of the hotel Wednesday morning said he and other employees were unaware of the stabbing until police arrived. The employee also said he couldn’t provide any more information.
Online police reports indicate the hotel has been the site of roughly 18 calls this year, including several domestic violence incidents.
Contributing: Jake Allen, Indianapolis Star
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Woman charged for stabbing baby niece instead of dog over chicken sandwich