Pierce County prosecutors allege a woman gave a 2-year-old boy life-threatening injuries by shaking him, after the child became upset about being separated from his mother.
Atalani Tili, 30, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first-degree child assault, after an investigation by Lakewood police. Court Commissioner Meagan Foley set bail at $200,000.
Court records did not list an attorney for Tili.
The toddler is unresponsive, according to court records, and his family has decided to take him off life support. Prosecutors might file additional charges.
Charging papers give this account:
The boy had been staying with Tili, a family friend, while his mother adjusted to a new job. Tili called 911 on Feb. 14, after the boy collapsed while she tried to dress him and his eyes rolled back.
Medical professionals initially didn’t know whether trauma or a medical condition caused the symptoms, but later a doctor concluded the injuries were from the child being shaken multiple times.
The boy had swelling and bleeding around his brain, and had suffered a stroke. Detectives noticed scratches and bruises and a cut on the back of the toddler’s head.
Tili told detectives the child is aggressive and difficult when his mother leaves. She said he bit her hand Feb. 13, and she shook him and threw him against a dresser.
After she tended to her hand, she found the boy on the bed, unable to get up from all fours. She thought something might be wrong, but put him to bed, and hoped he would get better.
Another time recently, she told detectives, the toddler was angry because his mother was gone and threw a fit.
“She (Tili) grabbed him by his arm and demonstrated shaking him,” deputy prosecutor Angelica Williams wrote in the declaration for determination of probable cause. “She said she threw him to the floor and he stopped crying.”
Tili didn’t know whether the boy hit his head on the dishwasher or floor during that incident.
Afterward, Tili told the toddler to get up, and he went to bed.