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Police arrest mother, daughter in violent assault

Two people were arrested late Wednesday night on aggravated assault and false imprisonment charges after they allegedly beat another woman and took her 2-year-old child.

Sgt. Alan Ward of the Merced Police Department said Maria Hunter, 45, and her daughter, Fawtane Hunter, 19, both of Merced, were apprehended at 11:28 p.m. Wednesday following the beating in the 1200 block of West Eighth Street. The 24-year-old woman said she had an argument with two of her roommates.

Ward said during the assault the Hunters dragged the victim into an adjacent room. The victim was able to get free and ran out a back door. The Hunters caught the victim just as she exited the residence and dragged her back in the apartment to stop her from alerting police, Ward said.

They continued the assault with Fawtane Hunter kneeing the victim in the face while Maria Hunter held her down and directed Fawtane to continue, Ward said. When the victim began bleeding from her injuries the Hunters released the victim, allowing her to flee the residence.

The Hunters remained in Merced County Jail on Thursday night in lieu of $30,000 bail each, according to a correctional official.

The 2-year-old boy's father, boyfriend of the victim, returned the child but left before he could be arrested on warrants, Ward said.