A mother is speaking out about a traumatic experience she had while driving to drop off her daughter for her first day of school.
Tabatha Erickson told KIRO she was in her vehicle at an intersection in Auburn, Washington, with her 9-year-old daughter, Tessa.
“The light had just turned green,” Erickson told KIRO. “I'm going, and she was honking. And I’m like, O’K, impatient, are we?’ And I just went on my merry way.”
A few blocks later, Erickson says the truck that was honking pulled up next to her.
“My passenger window was down, and she came through my window and punched me in the face. So my reaction was to get out and see what the problem was,” Erickson said. “Next thing I knew, they were both punching me and kicking me.”
Some of the incident was caught on video, in which Erickson appears on the ground as a teen, who police said is 17 years old, repeatedly punches her in the face.
“I'm just like, ‘Wow, what in the world did I do?’” Erickson said.
Auburn police said a woman seen in the video pressing Erickson’s head down is the the teen boy’s mother.
Tessa was there the entire time.
“I was so scared, because seeing your mom get hurt,” Tessa said. “Just for a light? Why would you be on my mom just for a light?”
“She just kept screaming, ‘Mommy, stop hurting my mommy,’” Erickson said.
“She was all I could think about. When you hear your child screaming like that, it just -- it's hard. No little kid should have to witness that.”
Auburn police said that, according to the teen throwing punches, he was out there to defend his mom.
“In his opinion, he went to her aid and he did throw more than one punch at the woman,” Comdr. Steve Stocker, of the Auburn Police Department, said.
Erickson said if other people hadn’t stepped in and pulled the woman and teen off of her, things could have turned out much worse.
“They wouldn’t have stopped,” Erickson said. “Thank God someone helped.”
Auburn police said investigators are still talking with witnesses and going over video evidence, and it will be up to the prosecutor's office to decide on any charges.
Stocker said any charges would likely be misdemeanor assault, based on the extent of Erickson’s injuries.
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