HELENA – A woman wanted by police in the beating of a Montana daycare owner who refused to hand over three children to their drunken father is now in custody.
Lake County Sheriff Don Bell said Tashiana Schlensker, 21, turned herself in to authorities in Polson around 6 p.m. Friday after a warrant was issued for her arrest.
KTMF-TV reported that Schlensker is being held in the county jail pending a court hearing.
Police earlier arrested Francis Joseph Jackson on a warrant charging him with aggravated burglary.
Lake County officials say Martha McClure was caring for Francis Joseph Jackson’s three children, all under the age of 4, when Jackson showed up Oct. 7 at her Ronan daycare center with his girlfriend, identified by police as Schlensker.
McClure knew Salish and Kootenai Tribal Child Protective Services had suspended Jackson’s parental rights and he was not allowed to have contact with them.
McClure told investigators that she could smell alcohol on Jackson, that he was angry she wouldn’t let him pick up his children, and that he threatened to assault her in front of the kids at Martha’s Mini Daycare, court records said.
She was able to physically remove Jackson from the daycare center and lock the door. But she said he began throwing toys, including a tricycle, at the window in an apparent attempt to get back inside, court records said.
McClure went outside, where she and Jackson fought until the woman with Jackson hit McClure in the face with a snow shovel. Jackson then hit McClure in the face, knocking her down, court records said. The suspects fled without the children.
McClure later said she knew what the consequences would be for keeping Jackson from his children.
“I knew he was going to throttle me, he was going to pound me, but he wasn’t going to get back in the house,” McClure said this week in a phone interview from her daycare.
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