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South Florida mom arrested, accused of throwing, kicking 3-year-old son, incident was caught on camera

By Alfred Charles, Peter D’Oench

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    MIAMI, Florida (WFOR) — A South Florida woman is facing charges after she was caught on a neighbor’s surveillance camera Tuesday beating her toddler son, including picking him up and throwing him to the ground.

Yulia Storozhuk, 29, of Sunny Isles Beach, has been charged with two felony counts of child abuse, according to the police report. The mother was being held on $5,000 bond.

Sunny Isles Beach spokeswoman, Sgt. Melissa Porro, told CBS News Miami’s Peter D’Oench, “This is something whether you are a parent or not, this is pure disgust. For a human being let alone this boy’s mother to do something like this to an innocent child who can not defend himself, I find this totally despicable.”

Porro said, “We have one video where she pushes the child to the ground and violently kicks this child. According to her, she did this because the child wasn’t listening and the child apparently wanted to to a playground and she told him no. This is a wonderful case of see something, say something.”

“We say that all the time in law enforcement. This person, this neighbor who called us about this incident, may not know it but they saved the life of this young boy. Nobody knows what could have happened to this child had this person not come forward.”

According to the police report, a neighbor who lives on the same floor at the apartment building in the 17000 block of N. Bay Road called police to report the incident.

The neighbor provided video captured on a Ring camera shortly after 9 p.m. on Tuesday that showed the woman picking up her 3-year-old son and throwing him to the ground before she kicked the child at least twice, the police report says.

The video captured the woman grabbing the boy and holding him down to the ground as he tries to get up, the police report says.

The mother was seen in a second video pushing the boy in the chest and knocking him down, according to the police report.

The officer who took the report said the boy had a red bruise on his cheek and forehead as well as bruising on his arm and knee.

Storozhuk told police that she pushed her son because he had insisted on going to the playground and he was being “difficult” and “uncooperative.”

In bond court, through a Russian translator, the mother said she and her son came to South Florida a year ago to escape the war in Ukraine and she said she worked as a flight attendant. The judge in this case ordered her to have no contact with her son.

The mother said this was “the only incident” where she let her temper “get the better of me.” She said she had never abused her child before.

CBS News Miami spoke with clinical psychologist Maribel Del Rio-Roberts about this case.

She said, “It seems like this is a parent who is overwhelmed and does not have the resources to cope with the situation and is what is demanded of them. This can have a significant psychological impact on a child who does not understand why a parent is acting this way towards him.”

She said, “Sometimes we as parents need to ask for help when sometimes as parents we are overwhelmed and sometimes we need external help and a support system.”

“Another thing to think about is setting clear expectations and times when it is clear for example to go to a park,” she said.

Storozhuk walked out of jail on Tuesday evening and made her way to an awaiting SUV, but did say that she loves her son and wants to get him back.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

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