A California sheriff’s deputy arrested a 45-year-old mother at a secluded beach in Centerville on Friday for reportedly trying to exorcise demons from her 11-year-old daughter. According to Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Kimberly Felder, of Ferndale, CA, was choking, biting, and striking her child.

Sheriff’s officers responded to a 911 call from John Marciel at approximately 9:00 a.m. after he stated that Felder was shoving sand in her child’s throat and in her eyes. Felder also allegedly stripped her daughter naked.

Samaritan acted to stop assault when others did nothing

John Marciel, an area resident, intervened as Felder kept attacking her daughter. The mother viciously hit her child in the head with driftwood. Marciel struggled with the woman while roughly 12 other people witnessed the mother attacking her daughter but did nothing. As he was attempting to wrestle Felder to the ground, he remained on the phone with 911.

Felder was separated from her child after officers arrived. She was put in handcuffs, arrested and booked. She is being held at Humboldt County jail on $500,000 bail for felony child abuse, assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated mayhem, and attempted homicide. The case was turned over to prosecutors.

To find out whether Felder was under the influence of drugs, she took a toxicology test. Officers do not, yet, know the outcome; they are awaiting the results.

Attack victim’s status

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) took the girl to the hospital for treatment. Sergeant Greg Allen, with the sheriff’s office, said the 11-year-old girl’s right ear was severely damaged.

He also stated that the girl would be in protective child custody.”

Yesterday, Stacy Hanson, the sheriff’s office public information officer, said Felder’s daughter was “flown out of the area to a hospital.” Lieutenant Ken Swithenbank said the girl would need to have some reconstructive surgery.

Before attending his son’s graduation from high school, Marciel took out-of-town guests to the beach.

He said the worst thing after the mother was pulled off her daughter, and the girl was in the sheriff office’s truck, the 11-year-old said that there were people who had driven by and, yet, no one stopped to help. He was glad, he said, he was there to stop the mother from attacking the girl.

Without Marciel’s intervention and heroic actions, the sheriff’s office said, Felder probably would have killed her child. He was commended, and the Sheriff’s Office is requesting that Marciel receives the Life Saving Award from the Red Cross.

Victim’s mother seeking divorce and sole custody

Eureka Times-Standard reported on courthouse documents from Humboldt County yesterday that in June 2015 Felder filed for divorce from her husband, Gregory Felder, citing irreconcilable differences.

The couple has three daughters, ages 11, 13, 14. She wants $3,000 each month for child support and sole custody of the daughters. She doesn’t want their father to have visitation rights, according to court records.

The older daughters were not with their mother when Felder allegedly assaulted their 11-year-old sister at the beach. Swithenbank said they were not in danger.