UIW track athlete accused of kidnapping toddler outside apartment, stabbing child’s mother with screwdriver

Myrajah Deshjonae Rankin, 19, was arrested Thursday

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police arrested a University of the Incarnate Word freshman track athlete Thursday after she allegedly stabbed a woman with a screwdriver and kidnapped a three-year-old boy from outside a Northeast Side apartment complex.

Myrajah Deshjonae Rankin, 19, is charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

It happened at about 2 p.m. on Thursday at an apartment complex in the 3200 block of Nacogdoches Road.

Police said the child’s mother noticed a stranger with her child. The stranger was later identified by police as Rankin.

Myrajah Deshjonae Rankin is charged with aggravated kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon. (BCSO/KSAT)

The woman said she told Rankin to get away from her child, but Rankin grabbed the boy and tried to carry him away, police said.

When the mother tried to grab her child from Rankin, the suspect stabbed her forearm twice with a screwdriver and she lost her grip on the boy, police said.

Two people witnessed the crime, including a worker who grabbed the child out of Rankin’s arms, according to SAPD.

Omar Ortega said Rankin ran into his apartment through a sliding door. His wife and mother-in-law were inside at the time.

“The cops came in, and they were like, with their handguns, like saying, ‘You need to leave. We want to help you. Come out with your hands up,’” Ortega said.

Rankin was later found by police hiding in a closet.

Ortega said he’s thankful no one in his family was hurt, but the stress of watching it through a video feed was intense.

“Not being there, it’s very stressful. It’s like — you wish, like, every car disappeared at the moment, and you’re the only one driving,” he said.

Rankin was arrested and booked into the Bexar County Jail with bonds totaling $150,000.

Police were not able to provide a motivation for the alleged crimes but said the investigation continues and Rankin could face additional charges.

According to Rankin’s profile on UIW’s website, she is a freshman from Round Rock who competed in track meets as recently as last weekend.

A spokesperson for UIW issued the following statement on behalf of the University:

“The University of the Incarnate Word is aware of an off-campus incident involving student-athlete Myrajah Rankin. As this is an ongoing San Antonio Police Department Investigation, the University will have no further comment at this time.”

According to a bio on UIW's website, MyRajah Rankin was a freshman on the women's track and field team. (University of the Incarnate Word)

About the Author

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.

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