Woman accused of striking a baby to provoke a fight


OKEECHOBEE — A local woman was charged with child abuse after she reportedly hit another woman’s baby in an effort to convince the child’s mother to fight her.

On Jan. 14 at approximately 5:45 p.m., Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Cauley responded to a call regarding a battery complaint. When he arrived, the complainants told him Kayla Marshall, 30, walked into the home and refused to leave despite multiple requests from the homeowner asking her to vacate the property.

One of the women said Marshall tried to get her to put her baby down so she could fight her, and as she walked by, she reportedly hit the baby in the back, leaving a mark on him. The other woman came forward to defend the baby, and Marshall reportedly struck her in the face.

Cauley notes Marshall had red, watery eyes and he could smell a strong odor of alcohol on her breath. He said she told him she would stay in her own house for the remainder of the night and not cause any further problems, and due to COVID-19 restrictions, he explained he would not be arresting her at that time but would be submitting a warrant for her arrest. He explained if she caused any more trouble, he would be back, and she would be arrested immediately.

Approximately two hours later, Cauley was called back to the park in reference to a disturbance outside another neighbor’s home. This neighbor said Marshall came to her house while she was making dinner plates and began screaming and banging on the door until she walked outside. At that point, she began screaming in her face, but the park owner was able to get Marshall to walk away.

Marshall was arrested and charged with two counts battery, one count child abuse without great bodily hard. and with disorderly conduct. Bond was set at $6,500.