East Isles daycare provider charged with attempted murder, hit-and-run

The daycare at 2712 Humboldt Ave. S.

Following the hanging of a toddler, multiple hit-and-run collisions and a suicide attempt over a major freeway, all the victims involved in a woman’s alleged crime spree Nov. 18 have survived and are recovering.

East Isles resident and daycare provider Nataliia Karia, age 42, is charged with attempted murder in the second degree (without premeditation) and two counts of criminal vehicular operation. After several days at a local hospital, she was booked in Hennepin County Jail. Her attorney declined to comment.

Central neighborhood resident Salvador Lema, who was hit and dragged for more than 10 blocks, is in stable condition and in quite a bit of pain, but is able to speak, said his attorney Will Sutor.

“His first concern is his family, and how long he’s going to be out of work,” he said.

Lema has four children and works two jobs. A GoFundMe account for donations to offset his family expenses and medical bills has raised more than $14,000.

The second injured pedestrian is Jacob Carrigan, a vegan butcher at Herbivorous Butcher who was biking to work. Carrigan also has a GoFundMe account set up for his benefit, and he expressed thanks to supporters in a recent post:

“Being in an accident is scary on many levels and thinking about legal and financial stuff is a burden I’d wish on no one,” Carrigan wrote. “That said, this has been a moment of a loving community coming together with support, and that is so heartwarming it makes me want to SIIIING (and dance, but that will have to wait. Maybe I can cook you yummy food eventually?)”

The following summary of the Nov. 18 incident is according to documents filed by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office and a police search warrant:

A man dropping off his three-year-old at daycare at 2712 Humboldt Ave. S. greeted Karia, who said she “couldn’t take it anymore” and told him to look at what she did. He heard a baby crying, and descended to the basement to discover a baby hanging in the air from a noose. Child-sized tights were hanging from a pipe in the ceiling, which were tied together and wrapped around the baby’s neck, and the child’s face was discolored. He pulled the baby down and fled and called his wife, who called 911 and came to the daycare to look after the other children.

According to the complaint, Karia left in a minivan and rear-ended a vehicle stopped at 28th & Grand, causing a chain reaction that hit an additional vehicle. Lema left his vehicle to check on the other drivers, and Karia allegedly sped around the cars, striking Lema and dragging him for more than 10 blocks. Sutor said Lema was trapped under the minivan, and he made an effort to keep his head up to avoid a more serious injury. He said bystanders were banging on the car to get the driver to stop.

According to court documents: Karia allegedly drove through several intersections without stopping, ran a red light at 28th & Park and hit Carrigan, who was riding in the bike lane and crossing at a green light. She headed north on Park until someone drove in front of her to get her to slow down. She stopped and got out at 18th & Park, and attempted to jump off the bridge onto I-94 below. Civilians prevented her from jumping until police arrived.

The 16-month-old child received treatment in the pediatric intensive care unit and had severe ligature marks around his neck and on his face, according to the complaint. Lema sustained a broken ankle, broken ribs, a traumatic brain injury and burns on his chest and back, according to his lawyer and court documents. The complaint said Carrigan’s leg was severely broken, requiring surgery and a permanent rod placed in his leg.

Assistant Police Chief Kris Arneson said at a Nov. 18 press conference that the motive for attempted murder is unknown. The Humboldt Avenue house was a licensed daycare facility, she said, and the woman cared for less than six children.

“It’s horrific,” Arneson said. “…We don’t know what was happening with her. As soon as we’re able to talk to her we’ll be able to ascertain that I hope.”