By Maggie Kenworthy
SILVER LAKE — A Silver Lake woman was recently arrested after allegedly burning a stuffed animal next to a child, stabbing a man and forcing water down a child’s throat.
Autumn Brittany Stahl, 32, 303 W. Sycamore St., Silver Lake, is charged with aggravated battery, a level 3 felony; attempted aggravated battery, a level 3 felony; battery while armed with a deadly weapon, a level 5 felony; two counts of neglect of a dependent, level 6 felonies; and domestic battery with a child present, a level 6 felony.
On Saturday, Aug, 1, an officer with the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a stabbing. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with a man who was suffering from a stab wound and multiple bite marks. The officer also noted that he was able to smell a strong odor of gas in the residence.
The male said that he visited the house to check on the children. According to the affidavit of probable cause, while giving several of the children a bath, he smelled something burning. While investigating the smell, the male saw Stahl burning a stuffed animal on the bed while holding a child. The male threw the burning stuffed animal out into the yard. The officer was able to find the burning stuffed animal in the yard after speaking with the male.
The man advised that after throwing the stuffed animal outside, he went back inside the residence. He observed Stahl turning on the oven and gas stove burners in an apparent attempt to fill the home with gas. The man repeatedly tried to prevent Stahl from turning on the burners, but she kept turning them back on.
At that point, the male attempted to remove the child from Stahl’s presence in order to prevent Stahl from harming the child. During the struggle, Stahl allegedly picked up a knife from the kitchen and started “attacking him.” The male advised that Stahl stabbed him in the neck and bit him several times while he was attempting to remove the child from her presence. According to the male, at one point, Stahl had her thumb down the child’s throat, held the child’s mouth open and was putting water down the child’s throat by holding the child under the faucet.
The officer also spoke with a neighbor who heard the altercation and responded to provide assistance. The neighbor observed Stahl with her fingers down the child’s throat while the male was attempting to separate Stahl from the child.
During the investigation, it was determined that four other children, in addition to the child that Stahl was holding, were present at the residence.
Stahl was booked into the Kosciusko County Jail on Aug. 5, with a $21,000 surety and cash bond.