Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Hannibal woman accused of putting son in path of stun gun

  • Police say a Hannibal woman used her infant son to shield a man who was being arrested from a stun gun blast.


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  • Police say a Hannibal woman used her infant son to shield a man who was being arrested from a stun gun blast.
    Twenty-year-old Maliea A. Martin was arrested for felony endangering the welfare of a child.
    The weapon was not fired and the one-year-old boy was not hurt. He was being cared for by a family member while the Missouri Division of Family Services investigated.
    Hannibal Police Capt. James Hark said he could not recall a case even remotely similar.
    “I’m dumbfounded that someone would use a child, placing the child in harm’s way,” Hark said. “It’s like throwing someone in front of a running vehicle. We’ve never experienced this type of thing.”
    Police say the incident started when Martin called them at 10:32 p.m. Tuesday to report that a former boyfriend had assaulted her earlier in the evening.
    While the two responding officers took a report, police said a man who lived at the same apartment complex in the 1000 block of Bird approached them in “an aggressive manner” and made threats.
    Officers said they repeatedly told the man, 22-year-old Joshua A. McAtee, to go back inside.
    Hark said the officers were “very tolerant” and responded according to their training, despite the alleged verbal abuse and threat of violence.
    “They were extremely patient,“ Hark said.
    Police say McAtee briefly returned inside, but came back out shouting and threatening the officers again.
    Hark said one officer advised McAtee that the suspect was under arrest and to get down on the ground. The officer said that when McAtee did not comply, he pulled out his Taser gun and issued another warning.
    A Taser is an electric shock weapon that works by disrupting muscle control. It’s a commonly-used deterrent by police around the nation to subdue suspects who threaten officers or others.
    It shoots dart-like prongs at a suspect. The darts are attached to thin wires, which relay the electric shock from the gun to the suspect.
    Martin allegedly held her son in front of McAtee in the path of the Taser gun’s laser sight.
    Hark said the veteran officer immediately pointed the gun to the ground and turned it off without firing.
    “The officer’s reaction time and sound judgment obviously is what caused things to turn out well,” Hark said. “The officer responded well, but the potential for danger is there.”
    Hark said officers reported McAtee appeared to be intoxicated. Police are not sure of a connection between the two suspects, other than that they lived in the same apartment complex.
    McAtee was arrested on two counts of resisting arrest and released pending a summons to appear in court.
    Page 2 of 2 - In addition to the endangering the welfare of a child charge, Martin is accused of resisting arrest. On Wednesday, she was in the Marion County Jail at Palmyra.
    The incident happened just two days after Martin was arrested for allegedly shoplifting more than $750 of merchandise from Wal-Mart in Hannibal. Court records show no other arrests for her.
    Records show McAtee had been arrested three times since 2005. In the last case, he pleaded pleaded guilty to trespassing on March 12, 2008, and was put on two years of supervised probation.
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