Woodbury woman with history of mental illness charged with attack that left daughter, 5, critically hurt and son, 6, injured


A Woodbury woman with a long history of mental illness was charged Thursday with attempted murder and assault in connection with her attack on her 6-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter during a late-night tirade in the street outside their home.

Sadiyo I. Mohamed, 32, was arrested early Wednesday at the scene and charged in Washington County District Court with second-degree attempted murder and first- and second-degree assault.

Mohamed appeared in court and remains jailed without bail. Court records do not list an attorney for her.

These latest allegations come less than six months after she was charged in Ramsey County with assaulting her parents in their St. Paul home one night in December. The felony case accuses Mohamed of hitting her mother with a pot and other items and choking her father with a heating pad cord, causing him to go in and out of consciousness.

Mohamed was jailed in that case, then released two days later without having to post bail.

Court records show that Mohamed has been struggling with mental illness since at least 2013, when she was civilly committed for a year in order to receive treatment.

She was similarly committed in 2016, 2017 and 2018. She was last discharged in September 2018.

Adrianne McMahon, Mohamed’s attorney in the Ramsey County case, said civil commitments “usually terminate when [patients] do what they’re supposed to do and they’re stable. It would be nice if there was a better system.”

McMahon said Mohamed has “recognized that she wanted [mental health] services. … Was there noncompliance on her part? No. Unfortunately, there is a delay in getting those things. That’s the reality of the mental health systems. It usually take months before we can get them in some program. There are a lot of hoops to jump through.”

Mohamed told police Wednesday that she has bipolar disorder and has been off her medications for a couple of months, according to the charges.

She said she has been “paranoid and hallucinating for the last couple of days,” the complaint read.

She went on to say that she believed her children were playing games with her, and “she said she wasn’t sure if her kids were the devil or a demon, which made her question if she should hurt them or not,” the charges continued.

The boy told a detective that his mother kicked him out of the house and he didn’t know why she was mad. He said he saw his mother hit his sister many times when they were outside as the girl said “sorry mommy,” the complaint quoted the girl as saying. He said the woman used a gray cylinder about 12 inches long to hit him and his sister, something she had done previously.

According to the complaint:

Police responded about 12:45 a.m. to numerous 911 calls from the 400 block of Lake View Alcove and saw Mohamed chasing her screaming son down the street.

When officers caught up to her “she appeared to be staring off into the distance and saying an unknown Somali phrase repeatedly,” the complaint read.

Bystanders were yelling about a “dead baby” in the street and officers found the daughter face-up in the street. The 5-year-old was bleeding from a wound on her head and was unresponsive, according to the charges.

Emergency medical personnel took the children to Regions Hospital. The girl was in critical condition as of Thursday morning with a fractured skull and other serious injuries.

The boy had a possible broken arm and a large bump just above his right eye. A 3-year-old sister was in the home at the time and unharmed. She was turned over temporarily to county child protection officials.

Officers searched the area and found an item resembling a long, skinny piece of wood on the sidewalk outside the family’s home with blood next to it.