Jefferson City woman charged with child abuse, neglect

A Jefferson City woman faces child abuse and endangerment charges after allegedly harming her child in a hospital waiting room.

Myrrah Johnson was charged in Cole County with abuse or neglect of a child and first-degree child endangerment.

A Jefferson City Police Department probable cause statement said authorities responded to reports of child abuse Thursday evening at SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital. There, they contacted staff who said Johnson was in a room with a child. Police reported hearing her yelling from the other room while waiting.

Officers contacted Johnson in the room, reportedly seeing her aggressively grab the child and put him on the ground.

A witness reported seeing Johnson drag the child by his hood while in the waiting room, choking the child. The witness said Johnson swore at the child and struck him with a juice bottle.

Another witness said they had heard Johnson slap the child, and a third said she yanked him by the arm, swearing at him and allowing him to wander around the room. Another witness said they saw her drag the child down the hall by the wrist.

Johnson denied abusing the child in any way and downplayed the yelling, according to the statement.