PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Neighbors of a Kent County mother charged with child abuse after running over her 9-year old son told 24 Hour News 8 there’s no way she did it intentionally.
Tiffany Kosakowski was arraigned Friday on charges of second-degree child abuse and reckless driving causing serious body impairment.
Cindie McGarry is Kosakowski’s neighbor.
“Her kids come over. Matter of fact, her son used to call me grandma,” McGarry said.
She said everyone in her house was shocked when they turned on the news last week and saw Kosakowski reportedly ran over her son.
“I just cannot fathom her doing this on purpose, no. There’s no way,” McGarry said Monday.
The incident happened Dec. 11 at Chandler Woods Charter Academy on Samrick Avenue near Post Drive in Plainfield Township, where Kosakowski’s son is a third-grader. Kent County authorities said video and witness accounts indicate the boy was hanging from the front passenger’s side door handle. He lost his grip as his mother pulled away and was run over by a back tire of the SUV, according to investigators.
The 9-year-old suffered head and torso injuries.
“I would have to literally actually stand there and watch it happen for me to believe that she really actually ran her son over on purpose,” McGarry said.
Court documents claim that Kosakowski knew her son was at the door. They also say she drove off knowing it would likely injure her son.
McGarry said that while Kosakowski usually kept to herself, her love for her children was clearly visible.
“It’s unfair for people to pass judgement against her without knowing her,” McGarry said.
“They (the kids) were never out of her sight. She watched them really well, so I don’t know what happened,” she added.
McGarry and other neighbors told 24 Hour News 8 that the 36-year old mother hasn’t been home since the incident. Police say she has spent time at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, where her son was still in critical condition Monday.
Kosakowski’s next court date is Dec. 28.
***CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story listed the boy’s age as 8 years old, based on information from investigators. This story has since been updated to reflect the child’s current age if 9 years old.***