Court documents show that boys playing a doorbell-ringing prank picked the wrong house — a really bad house.
Police say the boys angered the female resident to the point that she tried to run one down with her van, punched another three times while holding a knife to his chest and threatened to kill the boys and others, all while shouting racial slurs.
Ashley D. Crossland followed one boy to the house where the boys were having a sleepover, police say, and illegally entered the home. Confronted by a father of one of the boys, Crossland allegedly "threatened to slit his throat and everyone's throats in the house, including the babies."
The woman is now jailed on numerous charges, including kidnapping, and has bond set at $100,000.
According to a probable cause statement, the boys were ringing doorbells and running away from houses in the area of the 1800 block of South Weller and nearby streets one evening earlier this month.
One of the boys, identified only as "J.D.," told officers they went up to a house a couple blocks away on East Lindberg Street where "a lady came out and started yelling at him." The woman was later identified as Crossland, 31, of Springfield.
When Crossland came outside, the boys ran off, with most going in one direction, but J.D. going in another direction.
J.D. said he started walking when he got around the corner, but then saw a van come around the corner, "driving crazy," according to the report.
He said he started running again and Crossland tried to run over him whenever he was in the grass off the roadway.
"J.D. said the van was driving in yards, trying to strike him and run him over" and "the van nearly hit his legs as he was running," according to the statement. (Police say they later photographed a tire track in the grass in the area of the alleged assault.)
Once he was backed up against a fence, the woman started yelling at him and got out of the vehicle, the statement says.
The boy told police Crossland told him to get in the van or she would cut him. He said he didn't see a knife but got into the van because he didn't want to get cut, according to the document.
The statement says the woman removed a type of hunting knife and pointed it at the boy while he was seated in the passenger seat. The boy said the woman referred to him using several racial slurs and "told him she was going to murder him and slit his throat and his family's throats."
The boy directed Crossland to a nearby home where he and the other boys and young man were sleeping over for the night. The statement says Crossland followed the boy to the door.
A man at the house where his son and the other boys were staying told police J.D. ran into the house crying and told him what had happened. The man said he didn't previously know the boys were ringing doorbells.
The man said he could hear a woman yelling — inside his house — and he ran upstairs and saw Crossland standing a few feet inside his entryway.
"(He) said she was yelling all kinds of racial slurs, saying 'tell that (slur) I'm going to slit his throat," the statement says. The man said he yelled back at the woman to calm down because he had babies in the house.
He said Crossland stepped out of the house but continued yelling and made the threats to slit throats, according to the statement.
The man said he closed the door and called police.
Interviewed by police, one of the boys in the group of four said the woman came after them in a van and when she got out of the van she started "nudging" his chest with a knife. The boy, identified as "J.P.," said the woman punched him three times in his face or head and threatened to kill the group who had been ringing her doorbell before he pushed her and got away.
The statement says police attempted to contact someone at Crossland's East Lindberg home that night, but no one answered the door.
On Wednesday, Crossland voluntarily went to the police station for an interview, in which she "admitted she drove her van and tried to catch the male who rang her doorbell," according to the statement.
Crossland said she followed a boy in her van and eventually "jumped out and gave him the two options."
Crossland said he was "a little Mexican kid" and "she was going to be honest...and probably called him some things she shouldn't have."
She told police she was "beyond pissed off." She said she did drive in the grass and tell the boy to get into her van because she was going to take him to his parents or call the police.
She denied threatening to cut the boy but said she might have threatened to "break his arm next time or something," the statement says.
Crossland also denied making threats to slit the throats of people at the house, punching another boy or displaying a knife to any of them, police say.
Police asked Crossland why she didn't just call the police; she said she did not know.
An officer told Crossland he thought she didn't initially talk to police because she "knew what she did and knew the threats she made."
Crossland replied, "I was really racist."
Prosecutors charged Crossland with four felonies including kidnapping, armed criminal action, burglary and unlawful use of weapon. She was also charged with misdemeanor assault and harassment.
The kidnapping charge is a class B felony because prosecutors say Crossland was "terrorizing" the boy. However, prosecutors have asked that Crossland be punished as if the crime is a class A felony because she is a persistent offender.
In the complaint, prosecutors site a 2005 conviction for felony forgery in Greene County and a 2007 conviction for felony assault in Barry County.
"By committing these offenses and threatening to slit the throats of several individuals, defendant has demonstrated that she is a threat to the victims and this community," prosecutors wrote in requesting a $100,000 bond, which was granted.