Police: Erratic mother swung child

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Aurora Houghtaling
Aurora Houghtaling

NAUGATUCK — Police arrested a borough woman Wednesday night who was swinging her 1-year-old daughter around by the legs “like a baseball bat,” according to Naugatuck police spokesman Lt. Bryan Cammarata.

Police responded to multiple calls about a woman precariously holding a small child on Maple Street at about 6:30 p.m. When officers spotted Aurora Houghtaling, 39, of 87 South Main St., she appeared to be under the influence of narcotics and was making nonsensical comments, Cammarata said. He said she told the officers the government is in her phone and watching her. 

Cammarata said the child was drastically moving in her arms and her head was not secure. Then Houghtaling held the child like a baseball bat, he said, and swung her.

When officers approached her, Cammarata said, Houghtaling was very resistant and didn’t want to give up her child.

However, Cammarata said officers were able to secure the child quickly.

EMS took the child to Hartford Children’s Hospital where she was evaluated and found to be uninjured, Cammarata said. The child was in Department of Children and Families custody Wednesday night, but Cammarata said he didn’t know whether the little girl was still with the DCF or placed into the custody of another family member.

Officers found Houghtaling carrying methylphenidate pills, which she admitted to sniffing, Cammarata said. He said the brand-name version of the drug is Ritalin.

Houghtaling was charged with breach of peace in the second degree, risk of injury to a child, interfering with an officer and use of drug paraphernalia. She was held on a $10,000 bond.

Houghtaling was still in police custody at a hospital and has not yet appeared in court because of her condition, Cammarata said.