Charges: Oak Park Heights mother locked boy outside in cold - New York News

Charges: Oak Park Heights mother locked boy in T-shirt, diaper outside in cold

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OAK PARK HEIGHTS, Minn. (KMSP) -

Washington County attorneys are leveling charges of obstructing the legal process, child endangerment and neglect against a 26-year-old mother from Oak Park Heights.

Amber Lynn Viellieux is currently facing a total of three gross misdemeanor charges:

  1. One alleges child neglect to a degree that is likely to substantially harm the child's physical, mental and emotional health.
  2. The second accuses her of creating an endangering situation, either intentionally or recklessly, that could cause harm or death.
  3. The final count claims Viellieux intentionally obstructed the legal process by either resisting or interfering with Officer David Wynia, of the Oak Park Heights Police Department, as he was performing his duties by making or threatening violence.

If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment and up to $9,000 in fines.

The charges stem from an incident on the morning of Dec. 2. At about 8:12 a.m., Wynia was dispatched to 14687 62nd Street North after receiving a report that a 4-year-old boy was locked outside of a home wearing only a T-shirt and a diaper although it was only 34 degrees outside, overcast, foggy and damp.

According to charging documents, Viellieux was screaming and did not want the child to be inside the home. The caller had taken the child inside their own home.

Wynia knew the boy from a prior incident at Viellieux's home, and the people who took him in had wrapped him in a comforter to warm him up. Police say the boy was frightened and would not speak with officers, which was unusual considering the past interactions with the boy.

Investigators learned the boy was found outside after his father called neighbors from work to ask if they could go check on his children. The Good Samaritans then went outside to find the boy standing on the sidewalk at the bottom of the stairs, and he was crying and shivering.

Police say the complainants who made the welfare tried to contact Viellieux, but she shouted that she did not want the boy in her house and began swearing at the children, claiming that she hates them and did not want them around. The neighbors knew there was a 3-year-old still in the home and called police because they were worried about that child's safety as well.

When officers arrived, Viellieux answered the door with the other child. When asked where her son was, she told police he was with neighbors but soon became defensive when officers asked why, saying it was because their father did not take them.

Viellieux admitted keeping the boy out of the home, and officers tried to place her under arrest for child endangerment; however, police say she then grabbed her other child in a tight "bear hug" and would not let him go.

The charging documents say officers had to use force to get her into custody and release the other child, saying she was actively resisting by pulling away and screaming. As officers were escorting her to the squad car, police say Viellieux made them carry her full weight and almost pulled them down the stairs.

Once in the squad, police say Viellieux continued swearing and resisting by violently banging her head against the plexiglass and attempting to kick out the rear window of the squad. When officers tried to stop her, she kicked out at them too, police say. The charges claim she continued banging her head on the glass until she was booked into jail.

Both of the children stayed with neighbors until their father could come home.

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