Charges: Woman kidnaps granddaughter, punches child

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. -- A grandmother punched a 10-year-old boy in the face while kidnapping her 5-year-old granddaughter last week in University Place, according to charges filed in Pierce County Superior Court.

According to the charging documents, a woman was in her apartment in the 5700 block of 59th Street Court West around 12:45 a.m. Aug. 14 when she heard a knock on her door.

When the woman opened the door, 52-year-old Wayne Dirks forced his way into the apartment accompanied by 36-year-old Kaile Elliott and 50-year-old Bernita McDowell, who is the paternal grandmother of the woman's 5-year-old daughter, according to the charging documents.

The woman later told officers one of the intruders grabbed her hair, slammed her to the floor and held her down. When the woman's 10-year-old son tried to help her, McDowell reportedly punched him in the face, splitting his lip.

According to the charging documents, Elliott grabbed the woman's daughter from a spare bedroom, and the three intruders, as well as the child, left the apartment and got into a truck.

The woman stood in front of the truck to stop it from leaving but had to jump out of the way to avoid being run over, according to the charging documents.

Officers arrived to see the truck driving off with the woman running after it and screaming for help.

Officers stopped the truck and found all three suspects inside. The 5-year-old girl was also in the truck, crying and afraid, according to the charging documents.

McDowell reportedly told officers she went to the apartment to serve custody papers on the woman. But, she admitted she doesn't have custody of the child, nor does her son, the child's biological father.

According to the charging documents, McDowell was unable to produce any custody papers and none were found by officers.

Dirks, Elliott and McDowell have been charged with burglary, kidnapping and assault.