PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A Pawtucket mother is facing charges after police said they found her four children abandoned and living in deplorable conditions in a city apartment late last month.
Katrina Niles was arrested Monday on four counts of child neglect.
According to the police report obtained by Eyewitness News, an officer responded to an apartment complex on Weeden Street for reports of a disturbance. When he arrived, police said he saw a shirtless black male walking on the sidewalk who appeared to be crying and had dried blood on his lip.
The male told the officer he got into a fight with his older brother, and that he had not seen his mother in several days.
Police said the male went on to say he and his siblings hadn’t had electricity for more than a week and they had no food to eat. He also said his brother punched him in the face and beat him with a leather belt, having gotten angry at him for spilling the last box of rice onto the floor.
The officer went to the apartment to investigate and found it was completely dark, with trash, clothing and overturned furniture strewn about, according to police. The officer noted the home had a distinct odor of rotting food and found that most of the food in the fridge had spoiled days or weeks earlier.
Police said when they called Niles, she told them she was “not fit to care for the children” and to contact the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF).
About an hour later, police contacted Niles again, who said she would pick up her children at the Pawtucket police station. DCYF was also contacted and indicated they would respond to the police station as well.
On Sept. 17, police said they contacted Niles to inform her that her son was arrested on an assault charge. When she arrived at the police station, police notified her there was a warrant out for her arrest and took her into custody.