SPRINGFIELD TWP., OH (FOX19) - A suburban Cincinnati woman is accused of forcing her young son to remove all his clothes, leave her apartment wearing only his underwear and locking him out in near freezing temperatures.
Kecia Holland, 33, held a knife in her hand yelling at her 14-year-old son to get away from her Springfield Township residence on Roosevelt Avenue about 8:30 a.m. Saturday, police wrote in an affidavit filed in Hamilton County Municipal Court.
The temperature at the time was 36 degrees, they said.
The mother “locked her residence and fled in her vehicle, leaving her son outside only in underwear," police wrote. "(Holland) told police that she wasn’t returning for her son and advised us to call 241-Kids.”
But in an interview Tuesday, Kecia Holland said she was the one who called 911 on her son after asking him to leave her home.
“I am being portrayed as a monster,” she told FOX19 NOW.
Her son is a gang member, she said, and threatened her and her 6-year-old son, so she asked him to leave.
“My son made gang threats to me and my child that morning and that is why he was placed outside of my home in his underwear,” Holland said. “And that is the only reason -- because I feared for my baby’s safety.”
He went to a neighbor’s house for help, and she called 911, according to a recording of the call.
“I need the police at 2131 Roosevelt. This lady just put her son out in his drawers and had a knife to him. And he is in my house,” the neighbor told a dispatcher.
Once her son was outside, she said he kicked her back door and jammed it shut.
She said she went outside with a knife to try to pry the door back open.
She noticed her vehicle was running and said she was afraid her son, who has a history of running away, was going to steal her car.
He also had threatened to come back with his gang-member friends, she said, scaring her.
So she loaded her younger son into it and drove off.
She said she called 911 for help because her son was was acting out of control.
But, she claimed, Springfield Township police told her they were “tired of her calls” and were going to cite her for child endangerment.
Just over 24 hours later, police took Holland into custody on that charge during a traffic stop on Hamilton Avenue near Interstate 275, court records show.
She also was cited with driving under a suspended license and improperly displaying a license plate, according to her the ticket.
Authorities booked her into the Hamilton County Justice Center, where she spent the night, jail officials said.
She was released Monday after $500 of her $5,000 bond was posted, court records show.
The case goes to grand jury for possible indictment Oct. 29.
Holland said she has spoken to her lawyer and hopes the child endangering charge is dropped.
If it is not, she said she plans to fight it.
Meanwhile, she said the narrative that she’s some “crazy mom” who forced her son to stand outside in his underwear in freezing weather while she wielded a knife is not only untrue, it also is harming her reputation and livelihood.
She still has custody of both of her children and said they have never been taken from her.
That surely would have happened by now, she noted, if she was the type of mother who would cruelly throw her son out without cause.
Holland placed some blame with Springfield Township police, contending they did not help when she reached out to them for assistance with her son multiple times over the last year.
Her son runs away every time he is scheduled to appear in Hamilton County Juvenile Court, she said, and refused to attend therapy.
He failed to appear again Tuesday in Hamilton County Juvenile Court, she said, where he was expected to attend a delinquency hearing.
Springfield Township police confirmed Tuesday they have been called to respond to eight runs for service to her home, mostly for runaway situations.
Holland said the only police department that has been willing to assist her is Colerain Township.
She said they helped her get her son away from a man she called a “pervert" who took advantage of him when he sneaked out of their home.
Holland said she loves her son, but she continues to struggle to handle him.
“He’s not going to school. He’s doing drugs, he’s stealing from my home, stealing from my job,” she said.
"What more is there to do than the juvenile system to step in? I don’t care if it is house arrest, boot camp.
“I feel bad because I know I can’t be the only parent going through this. And I can see now why parents get to the point where they just say ‘forget it. I ain’t calling the police no more, I’m not doing nothing no more, do what you want to do’ and then we end up with a juvenile detention that is so packed full of young black men and women whom have destroyed their lives because nobody cares to step in before it got to that point. Because I am sure they were all great kids or they weren’t that bad until it got to that point.”
She said she feels like she’s exhausted all of her options and is receiving no help from police.
She has frequently had to miss work to take care of her son’s legal troubles, she said, as well as ones she claims he’s caused her.
Now she’s on probation at her job.
To try to get her son away from the violence she claimed he is around in Springfield Township, she moved her family some 30 miles away Monday to Warren County’s Franklin Township.
She said she hopes the change of scenery will put her near a police department that can help her when her son acts out.