Woman accused of berating South City Latino family in viral videos facing charges
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Viral videos had local police taking a second look at a string of 2022 incidents at a Princeton Heights home. The woman believed to be in the video is now facing charges.
Judy Kline, 54, is charged with first-degree burglary, first-degree property damage and unlawful use of a weapon.
In videos that have gone viral on TikTok, a random woman repeatedly berates a Latino family by screaming into their Ring Doorbell, banging on the front door with a hammer, and even apparently shuffling through their mailbox. The videos have millions of views and have taken place over the past year. The probable cause statement alleges she also went to the back of the house and used the hammer to break in through the basement door. She is accused of smashing a glass door on a drying machine.
“Show me some illegal paperwork because I know you didn’t buy this house because you don’t have enough money,” the woman said in a video from January 2022.
Authorities say the victim and his 4-year-old daughter were home at the time. Once inside the home, Kline allegedly insulted the victim while holding a hammer over her head.
City property records show the family does own the home on Lisette Ave. The couple’s daughter shared the videos with News 4, saying her family is the target of racist attacks.
Tuesday, St. Louis police sent News 4 three incident reports from January, March and December of last year that cite property damage, burglary and more. They say they arrested the suspect and applied for warrants. They would not confirm the suspect’s name, citing statutes that say the record is closed since charges had not yet been filed.
News 4 learned that because those warrants were dropped in the “non-urgent” box at the Circuit Attorney’s Office, they were never reviewed.
The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office said early Tuesday that they were still investigating the incidents. A statement says the case is now being given renewed attention in light of the video evidence.
“The CAO has elevated the warrant application related to this case, and is awaiting the video evidence that was not initially submitted, and that is now circulating on the Internet,” the statement said.
Kim Gardner’s office has faced criticism for a backlog of thousands of cases. Now it’s taken social media to get action for this family.
The Circuit Attorney’s Office Tuesday said they have the case flagged and are reviewing evidence.
Neighbors describe a loving family that would leave Christmas gifts on their neighbors’ doorsteps.
Fatima Suarez, the daughter of the family and the poster of the viral videos, said they don’t know the woman and she’s not from the neighborhood.
“Every time the ring sounds for my phone, I immediately look at it, my family doesn’t feel comfortable to open the windows or curtains,” Suarez said.
Suarez is constantly worried for her little sister and parents.
“I don’t know why the justice system doesn’t take it seriously, I really didn’t think it would go viral like it did, and now look, they’re finally doing something about it,” Suarez said.
News 4 visited the last known address of Kline which is about a half mile from the home on Lisette. Her neighbor said she abruptly moved out last summer.
“I just don’t want her to hurt my family again or have the opportunity to hurt other families,” Saurez said.
The most recent visit from Kline was just last week, the victims allege. The family said Tuesday they are trying to get a restraining order against Kline, which has been a challenge because they don’t have an address for her Authorities say Kline was served an order of protection. A hearing about the matter is scheduled for February 15.
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