A SeaTac woman was charged Thursday with attempted first-degree murder domestic violence, accused of trying to hang her 11-year-old son from her third-floor balcony.
The boy, who had a rope wrapped around his neck, was saved by a neighbor, who leaped down from his fourth-floor balcony as the boy fought his mother’s attempts to lift and push him over the railing, charging papers say.
The boy’s mother, 38-year-old Pisey Nin, was also charged with felony harassment domestic violence for threatening to kill her 8-year-old son, say the charges. Arrested Monday, Nin remains jailed in lieu of $2 million bail, jail and court records show. She is to be arraigned Sept. 16.
Court records do not yet indicate which attorney is representing her.
The brothers were placed in protective custody, say the charges, which note their father is dead and their extended family lives in Cambodia.
“The defendant appears to suffer from significant mental illness and was convinced someone else was going to kill her and her children,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Celia Lee wrote in charging documents. “But for the heroic efforts of a neighbor … this case likely would have been a homicide.”
The 11-year-old had ligature marks around his neck and petechiae in his eyes, the charges say. Petechiae are pinpoint hemorrhages that occur on the skin and eyes when blood is trapped too long in the jugular veins, causing tiny blood vessels to break.
Just after 2 p.m. Monday, a woman called 911 and reported that a woman in a nearby apartment was trying to throw a child off a balcony and that another neighbor had intervened, say the charges. Police arrived at the Heights by Vintage Apartments, located in the 21200 block of International Boulevard, and interviewed several witnesses, including the couple who live in the unit above Nin and her children.
A woman told police she was watching TV when she heard children screaming; she looked over her balcony and saw a child with what she thought was a yellow belt around his neck and a woman trying to lift the child’s leg over the railing, say the charges. She woke her boyfriend, who jumped from his balcony to the balcony below, unwrapped the rope from the boy’s neck and stayed at the scene until officers arrived, according to the charges.
During child forensic interviews the next day, the brothers reported that their mother planned to kill them and herself before unknown strangers could kill them, say the charges. The boys revealed their mother had previously burned their hands and hit them with a computer cord and clothes hangers to discipline them, charging papers say.