Mother accused of attempted murder in public ‘exorcism’ of child

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A California woman was arrested Friday after she was seen on a beach beating, biting and choking her 11-year-old child in an attempted exorcism.

At about 9 a.m. on Friday, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting a mother attacking her child at Centerville beach near Ferndale. According to a news release from the Sherriff’s Office, the caller said that the mother, who had stripped the child naked and was forcing handfuls of sand in the child’s eyes and mouth, stated that she was attempting to remove demons from the child.

The woman was identified as Kimberly Felder, 45.

A group of approximately 11 people witnessed the assault. Local resident John Marciel intervened and attempted to restrain Felder, struggling with her as she hit her child in the head with a piece of driftwood.

Shortly thereafter, a sheriff’s deputy arrived on scene, pulled Felder away from the child and placed her in handcuffs.

The child was transported to a hospital for treatment of injuries, including severe damage to an ear.

Felder was charged with attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, felony child abuse and aggravated mayhem. She was detained at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.

Marciel was commended by the Sherriff’s Office for intervening. Authorities noted that Marciel likely prevented the child from being killed and requested that he be recognized with the Red Cross Life Saving Award for his actions.

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