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Child survives hanging after chaotic flee by Minneapolis day care provider, police say

MINNEAPOLIS—A Minneapolis daycare provider hanged a toddler in her home, struck and dragged a man with her minivan and then tried to throw herself off a bridge in a "horrific" series of events Friday morning, police said.

The child and the hit-and-run victim survived. The suspect was arrested after a struggle with bystanders and police, according to police accounts. The police said another man, a bicyclist, was also hit as the suspect fled from the daycare home in her minivan. The bicyclist survived, with unspecified injuries.

The 16-month-old boy was rescued by another child's parent and is "doing fine" at a hospital, Minneapolis Assistant Police Chief Kris Arneson told reporters. No other children were harmed. Arneson said a "handful" of other children were in the house at the time of the incident.

Police did not specify how the child was hanged.

The woman fled the daycare after hanging the child and, after striking the other car and the pedestrian, was arrested as she tried to jump off a bridge, Arneson said.

In the first crash, the victim was dragged for "several blocks" and suffered broken bones and abrasions, Arneson said.

Police said they don't know why the woman did what she did. She remained in custody and was "being evaluated" at a hospital pending charges, Arneson said.

"We don't know what was happening with her," she said. "As soon as we can talk to her, we should be able to ascertain what was happening."

"It's horrific. Horrific," she said of the incidents.

The daycare, licensed through Hennepin County for up to six children, is in the 2700 block of Humboldt Avenue South, a residential street in Minneapolis' Uptown neighborhood two blocks from Lake of the Isles.

Police did not release the names of those involved. Police said the suspect in the case ran the daycare. It wasn't immediately clear if there are any other adults involved in the daycare, or if the woman has any children of her own.

Arneson said she wasn't aware of any contact in the past between police and the daycare.

According to Arneson, here's what happened Friday morning:

Before 9:45 a.m., a mother dropping off her child at the daycare saw the daycare provider leaving the home. Inside, the mother found the 16-month-old boy hanging and promptly took him down. Police received a 911 call at 9:43 a.m. with a report that "a female had intentionally hung a toddler."

The caller told police that the woman fled in a gold minivan.

At 9:57 a.m., a minivan with the same description reportedly struck a vehicle near West 28th Street and Grand Avenue South — due east of the daycare. The man in the vehicle got out and the minivan then hit him, dragging him "several blocks," police said.

At 9:59 a.m., the same vehicle hit a male bicyclist farther east, near West 28th and Park Avenue South, police said. The cyclist was injured, but not as seriously as the pedestrian. Both were hospitalized.

At 10:06 a.m., police received a report of a woman threatening to jump onto Interstate 94 from the Park Avenue overpass. Citizens grabbed the woman and prevented her from jumping until officers arrived. "She was fighting them," Arneson said. Arneson said the suspect also struggled with police who arrived at the scene to arrest her.

As for the hanged toddler, who was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital, Arneson said: "The child is doing fine I'm told."

Police said the parents of all the other children at the daycare were notified, and officers and police chaplains stayed there to speak with parents if they desired.

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