Police: Woman abused children

Kids say defendant threatened them while high on drugs

GREENFIELD — Two kids told police their caregiver repeatedly verbally and physically abused them while she was high on drugs, according to court documents.

A boy told police Jennifer Quinn, 36, of Greenfield, once threatened to stab him while yelling at him that he’d “amount to nothing.” And a girl reported the same woman once threw a baseball bat at her during an argument, according to court documents.

Quinn is accused of neglect and criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon, according to court records.

She was arrested this week and pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges she faces before Hancock Superior Court 2 Judge Dan Marshall Tuesday morning. She’s since been released from the Hancock County Jail on a $2,000, records show.

Quinn’s family told police they believed the woman started using drugs about a year ago. She’s been on a “downward spiral” ever since, the family told police, according to court documents.

Both children say they knew whenever Quinn used drugs because she began acting paranoid and yelling at them, accusing them of wanting to harm her, or threatening to harm herself, court documents state.

Whenever Quinn would act like this, the children would call a relative to come pick them up and take them away from her home, records state. Eventually, they decided to notify police, and both children were interviewed by investigators, hoping Quinn could get help, records state.

The boy described several occasions when Quinn had “emotional outbursts,” court documents state.

Quinn once ran at him, screaming that someone was after her, court documents state. The boy said it was clear Quinn was paranoid and “tweaking,” court documents state.

On another occasion, Quinn locked herself in her bedroom and was making threats to harm herself, the boy told police. When he tried to talk to her through her closed bedroom door to calm her down, she threatened to stab him, court document state. The boy said he could hear the woman trying to stab something through the door, but he didn’t know if she had a knife or any other type of weapon.

The boy said he called an aunt to come pick him up from Quinn’s home but with a warning to be careful because Quinn “had a gun and threatened to shoot anyone because there were people who were out to get her,” court documents state.

The boy said he hadn’t been back at Quinn’s home since this incident.

A girl Quinn helped care for told police similar stories, according to court documents.

She said Quinn once came at her with a baseball bat once during an argument over a cellphone, court documents state. Quinn threw the bat at the girl along with a lit cigarette, court documents state.

The girl also called a family member to come pick her up after this incident and hasn’t seen Quinn since, court documents state.

Police spoke with relatives of Quinn’s as part of their investigation.

One family member told investigators Quinn’s behavior had “changed drastically in the past year due to drug issues,” court documents state.

Quinn often tells the family “outlandish” stories about people who are trying to harm her, relatives said, according to court documents.

Hancock County Sheriff’s deputies visited Quinn’s home in September after she’d reportedly threatened to harm herself, records state. At that time, Quinn seemed calm, according to police reports.

Detectives had not spoken to Quinn when the criminal case against her was filed this month.

Quinn faces two Level 6 felony counts of neglect of a dependent and one Level 6 felony count of criminal recklessness with a committed with a deadly weapon.

Each count carries a potential sentence of six months to 2½ years.

Author photo
Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.