Courtesy Fatima Suarez
(ST.LOUIS) — For more than a year, Fatima Suarez said her family’s St. Louis home was repeatedly visited by a woman who allegedly insulted her family, stole their mail and damaged their property.
Video footage captured by the family’s Ring doorbell camera allegedly shows a woman yelling into the camera, going through their mail and hurling racist remarks at them.
“It scared my family. It scared me,” she said. “I’ve cried. It was really stressful to see her keep coming back.”
Suarez, whose family is of Mexican descent, posted the footage to TikTok, where it received millions of views.
On Tuesday, the city’s Circuit Attorney’s Office said in a statement that it “elevated the warrant application related to this case.” On Wednesday, Judy Kline of St. Louis was criminally charged on three counts — burglary, property damage and unlawful use of a weapon.
According to a probable cause statement sent to ABC News by the Circuit Attorney’s Office, Ring camera video footage shows Kline “holding a hammer and yelling ‘What the hell are you doing in my home? Get out b—-! Get out! It’s my home!”
Suarez said her family doesn’t know Kline. “We’ve never seen her in our lives,” she said.
Suarez credits social media in spurring the police to take action.
“I’ve seen similar stories on TikTok going on, and I thought maybe that would help my family out as well,” she said. “But I never knew it would blow up like that, and it did. So I’m thankful for everybody that made it viral because now [there’s] going to be hopefully action taken.”
Suarez said Kline first came to her family’s home last year.
According to the probable cause statement, Kline went to the back of the house on January 5, 2022, and used a “hammer to break in through the basement door window by breaking the glass on the door.”
Suarez said her father was in the house with her sister, who was 4 years old at the time.
Kline “smashed a glass door on a drying machine,” the statement said. “The victim stated that once inside, [Kline] yelled insults at him, while holding the hammer over her head.”
A booking data report from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department showed that Kline was arrested that day and charged with aggravated burglary and property damage.
“I always call the cops, and all the times that I call them, they only kept her for like 72 hours and then she was released,” Suarez alleged. “That’s why she had the opportunity to keep coming back.”
Kline was also “served with an ex parte order of protection involving a petitioner who resides at the same address as this incident,” the probable cause statement said. “This matter is scheduled for an Adult Abuse Hearing on February 15, 2023.”
Suarez said Kline has visited the home multiple times, including last week. The probable cause statement said that she was reported to have returned to the home multiple times.
Even though Kline has charges against her, Suarez said her family still fear that she will return.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department told ABC News Thursday that Kline “is not currently in custody.”
ABC News could not reach Kline for comment.
In a statement Tuesday, the city’s Circuit Attorney’s Office said, “when cases are submitted by the police, the SLMPD [St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department] determines the public safety threat to evaluate whether the case should be reviewed within 24 hours of the application for an arrest warrant.”
“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 office said.
Suarez claimed she previously sent the videos to the police.
“At one point, I wanted to become part of the justice system, like a cop or something,” she said, “but because of how they are with other people, how they treat other people, how they don’t care about cases. … I don’t really trust them as much anymore.”
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