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Mother Accused Of Punishing Girl With Wrench

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Mai Neng Xiong (Ramsey County Sheriff's Office)

Mai Neng Xiong (Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office)

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — A St. Paul woman is accused of using a wrench to punish her 7-year-old daughter.

A criminal complaint accuses 39-year-old Mai Neng Xiong of pinching her daughter’s ear so hard doctors say the girl will need plastic surgery to repair the damage.

Xiong has two prior convictions of child abuse — one in Hennepin County and one in Ramsey County.

When she was arrested Nov. 11, it didn’t come as a big surprise to her oldest son.

“It just broke my heart to pieces,” said Andy Vang, Xiong’s 17-year-old son.

Vang knows his mother has a temper.  A temper that he said is sometimes directed at her children.

“My little sister Christina came to me and said she’s scared to see mom. She was crying,” said Vang.

He has learned how to keep her anger in check.

“When the family’s home, nothing happens, but when the older ones and dad’s out, something happens,” said Vang.

But earlier this month, no one was home except Xiong and two of her children. The criminal complaint says Xiong was angry that her daughter had eaten some fruit she had just purchased.

“The top of her ear was clipped off.  It looked clipped off and she was bleeding from all around her ear,” said Vang.

A school nurse reported the injury to police who had the little girl draw a picture of the object that caused the injuries. Xiong later admitted she pinched the girl’s ear with the wrench.

“In this case, the nature of this injury and these allegations were such that emergency foster care seemed very appropriate,” said Ramsey County attorney Susan Gaertner.

Social services removed the girl from the home, but allowed her to return home on Wednesday night.

However, Xiong won’t get to see her young children for some time.  Her husband, Pao Lee was told Xiong cannot return home or contact any of her kids under the age of 18.

“I think that’s safe for the baby. I think that’s safe for baby,” said Lee.

This is what Vang has been waiting for.  He said he’s wanted to take care of the children himself because he didn’t like the way they were being treated.  Xiong now faces five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner Talks About Case

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