Utah woman accused of dragging son by neck competent to stand trial, court rules

Utah woman accused of dragging son by neck competent to stand trial, court rules

(Salt Lake County Jail)

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SALT LAKE CITY — A judge has ruled a West Jordan woman accused of choking and dragging her young son is competent to stand trial, according to court documents.

In November, Whitney Virginia Romero, 28, was charged with child abuse, a second-degree felony; assault on a police officer, a class A misdemeanor; failing to stop for police, a class A misdemeanor; and interfering with an arrest, a class B misdemeanor.

On Nov. 11, West Jordan police received multiple calls of a woman dragging a 7-year-old boy by a shirt that was wrapped around his neck along 7800 South, according to charging documents. As officers arrived on the scene, Romero ran off, the charges state. When she was caught, she spit on one officer and then continued to kick the interior of a police patrol car once she was placed in the back, to the point that officers had to put restraints on her, the charges state.

When interviewed by police, the boy said Romero was "acting scary toward him" that night, and eventually she grabbed him by the back of the neck, lit a piece of her own hair on fire, blew it out, then placed it on the boy's chest, according to charging documents.

Romero then repeatedly told the boy to "throw up" and forced her fingers down his throat in an attempt to make him do that, the charges state. She then wrapped a sweater around the boy's neck, stabbed him in the neck, shoulder, back, arm and wrist with a pen, and dragged him by his neck, the charges state.

The boy said he told Romero, "'Mom, mom, it's me,' to get her to stop, but she wouldn't," according to charging documents.

On Thursday, Romero was determined competent to stand trial and was ordered to be moved from the Utah State Hospital to the Salt Lake County Jail.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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