Mom arrested months after 3-year-old fell to his death at Charlotte airport

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Saturday, November 23, 2019
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Police in North Carolina have filed a misdemeanor child abuse charge against a woman whose 3-year-old son fell from an airport escalator.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A mother was arrested and charged with child abuse months after her 3-year-old son fell to his death inside the Charlotte airport.

Jaiden Cowart died on Sept. 25 when he fell near an escalator in the baggage claim area of Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina.

Charlotte police officers received arrest warrants Tuesday accusing Cowart's mother, Jiterria Ravon Lightner, of misdemeanor child abuse.

Lightner turned herself in to police Thursday.

She previously said she and her three children had just returned to North Carolina from a trip to Florida. She was trying to pick up the family's luggage when Jaiden somehow got caught in the handrail of the escalator, which pulled him up until he fell to his death.

Lightner's attorney said police pushed to charge her because they think she was not properly supervising her children.

"She was caring for a 4-, 3- and 2-year-old and trying to arrange a ride from the airport," attorney Michael Greene told WSOC. "I'm here saying she's not guilty of misdemeanor child abuse."