SPOKANE -- A Spokane woman, accused of kicking her child, is facing second degree assault charges after the incident was caught on tape. Spokane Transit Authority cameras in downtown Spokane caught the alleged abuse outside the bus depot.
28-year-old Keyana Key appeared in court Monday. A judge formally charged her. KREM 2 talked to a friend of key who watched the surveillance video and felt something was not right with her.
Paula Nieves says she had never seen Keyana spank or hit her child until she saw the surveillance video. Court documents show several witnesses say they saw Key either kicking or hitting her 3-year-old son to the ground. They say she then pulled him up by the hood of his jacket.
Neives says she does not condone her friend's behavior but feels Key was overwhelmed by recent events leading up to the incident. Nieves says Key's sister in Tacoma refused to mail her children's social security checks the past two months. Key got served an eviction notice. At the same time, she was trying to go back to school.
"I think that she just had a momentary...just flipped and lost it because there was just too much for her. And she's a very, very good mother. She makes sure they are fed well, they are cleaned, clothing. Always buy them everything. She'll spend all her money on her kids," said Neives.
KREM 2 News talked to Key's sister in Tacoma who refuted the claim. Taura, who wished to be identified only by her first name said, "Keyana's problems did not stem from me. This goes way back," Taura said. "Her behavior goes way back."
Taura stated she was Key's payee for one month, but she is not any longer.
"I did not keep her social security check from her," she said. "The checks were being sent here under the assumption she was living in Tacoma."
Taura said she did not want to be involved in what she called any form of "goverment fraud."
"Keyana has problems. Everybody who knows my sister knows she needs help," she said. "I hope she gets the help she needs."
According to court documents, Key's landlord told police on occasions, he has heard her yelling at the children. About a month ago, he found all three of the children home alone. Neives says Key has gone to parenting counseling in the past after being told she was too strict on the toddler.
"Because medical wouldn't pay it, they took her out of the program," said Neives.
Late Friday afternoon, police found and arrested Key. They placed two of her youngest kids in the custody of Child Protective Services. Her toddler was taken to the hospital be be checked out. The judge set bail for Key at $20,000.