Kirkland woman charged with abusing then-2-year-old foster child

by RAECHEL DAWSON,  Kirkland Reporter Reporter

A Kirkland woman was recently charged with second-degree assault of a child after she was arrested for allegedly abusing a then-2-year-old foster boy in the spring and summer of 2013.
Tonja J Maciolek, 47, is being held at King County jail on $75,000 bail.
After a lengthy investigation, Kirkland police arrested Maciolek in January for fracturing the 3-year-old boy’s elbows and severely injuring his head.
She was charged with two counts of the crime at King County Superior Court on March 18.
On May 10, 2013, Maciolek took the boy to the emergency room of EvergreenHealth Medical Center for an elbow injury he had been complaining of for two days.
Doctors determined the boy, whose initials are A.O., had a supracondylar fracture to his left elbow. Upon follow-up at ProOrtho Surgeons in Kirkland, one of the doctor’s asked A.O. how it happened, to which he replied, “Mommy did it,” according to charging documents.
Three months later on Aug. 14, Maciolek again brought the boy into the emergency room at EvergreenHealth Medical Center. According to the charging documents, she told doctors her foster son complained of head pain and had vomited at dinner that evening.
“Tonja Maciolek was concerned that he had fallen and suffered a head injury, which she claimed not to have witnessed,” charging documents state.
Doctors later determined he suffered a subdural hematoma, which was caused by a head injury that resulted in intracranial bleeding.
The boy was rushed to Seattle Children’s Hospital by ambulance, during which doctors observed bruising all over his body. When he arrived, medical staff called the police.
A social worker and two Kirkland police detectives interviewed Maciolek at the hospital.
Charging documents state they observed her to be “detached from A.O. and declined an offer to see him before he was transported from the ER to the medical floor (ICU)."
During the interview, Maciolek allegedly referred to the boy as a brat and she repeatedly said he was clumsy and “always falling and causing head injuries to himself.”
“She offered no explanation whatsoever for the bruises that covered A.O.’s body,” the documents continue, noting that her husband was out of town at the time on a business trip.
Police contacted A.O.’s Kirkland daycare and learned that the boy had not had bruises all over his body at daycare nor had he had any accidents the day he was taken to the hospital. The operator indicated she knew this because he had worn shorts and a t-shirt that day, according to the charging documents.
In another interview with Maciolek, police allegedly heard her admit to being a “grabber” and aggressive. When asked if she had ever grabbed the boy hard enough to break an elbow, she said, “Maybe, but I didn’t intend on breaking anything,” the documents continue.
“When I asked Tonja if she ever hit A.O., she didn’t offer a denial but rather said, ‘I wanted to when he first came,’” a Kirkland police detective stated in the charging documents.
Maciolek and her husband had been foster parents to  A.O. since October 2012.
During A.O.’s several doctor visits following his head trauma, doctors noted his bruising was inconsistent with falling or normal child’s play. They also found an unknown elbow fracture, different to the one reported in May 2013, and that he was underweight at 21 pounds, which put him in the 1 percent category for his age.
A.O. was placed in a different foster home after he was discharged from the hospital. Charging documents state neither hospital staff nor his new foster family noticed he was “clumsy” or prone to bumping or falling.
With a new family, the boy gained weight and told his new foster mom twice that his prior foster mother had hurt him. He allegedly said his ‘mommy’ banged his head into the wall during bath time. About a month later, he said his ‘mommy’ broke his arm, as he showed his new foster mom a twisting motion with his arm.
“It hurt bad,” he said, according to charging documents.
After A.O. had been living with his new foster family for three months, a detective visited the family for a follow up interview. During this time, he noticed A.O. had gained weight.
Although the detective states he didn’t direct any questions at the boy, A.O. told the officer, “Mommy Tonja hit my bottom really hard,” and “Mommy Tonja hurt my ear too. She bent it," at the time of the visit.
Maciolek, who has no criminal history, will be arraigned on March 31 at King County Superior Court.