Woman charged for allegedly leaving child in traffic while beating boyfriend

By Ed Treleven

April 23, 2012

Bail was set at $1,600 for a Madison woman who allegedly left her 2-year-old son sitting in a traffic lane on Stoughton Road last week while she chased down and beat her boyfriend, who is the boy’s father.

Tawanna S. Rhynes, 21, was charged Monday with first-degree reckless endangerment, child neglect, misdemeanor domestic battery and domestic disorderly conduct. She is also on probation for criminal trespass and theft, having been convicted of those crimes just two days before the April 18 incident that allegedly started outside Walgreens, 3710 E. Washington Ave.

According to a criminal complaint filed Monday, Rhynes was fighting with her boyfriend, Derrick Smith, in the parking lot, then was barred by employees from coming into the store to continue the fight.

According to the complaint:

Walgreens employee Benjamin Freilicher told police that Smith then started to walk across Stoughton Road, which at that point is multiple lanes in each direction, and that Rhynes ran across the street after him, holding a child in one of her arms.

Freilicher told police that cars were braking to avoid Rhynes and the child, and once she reached the southbound lanes, she put the child down in the middle of the lane for right turns onto East Washington Avenue. He said he and a customer went out and got the child out of traffic.

All the while, Freilicher said, Rhynes continued to hit and kick Smith, who had fallen down.

Several witnesses said Rhynes appeared to be concerned only with beating Smith and ignored the child in the road.

Smith told police that he and Rhynes were walking from a nearby motel to his daughter’s house when Rhynes, who is pregnant with his child, became angry and upset. He said she began hitting him as he tried to walk away from her.

Source: WSJ