Saint Petersburg, Fla. -
St Pete police have arrested 35-year-old Danielle Harkins on child endangerment and abuse charges following a bizarre ritual in which she lead seven kids to cut and burn themselves in order to get rid of evil demons.
She reportedly had told the kids, all of them of Asian ethnicity, that they must cut themselves to bleed in order to get the demons out of them, then they must burn the wound so it is sealed so that the demons can't get back in.
None of the kids ranging in age from 14 to 17 told their parent and police only learned about the incident after one of them told a friend who told his own parents who in turn called police.
At one point during the ritual that was held near the St Pete Pier, the wind blew out the flame of the lighter, so Harkins poured perfume on the child and lit it, causing second degree burns. None of those involved had said very much other than that it happened.
Harkins new all of them because they were previous students at the Lealman literacy center and Asian Neighborhood Family Center where she has taught for four and a half years.
Th Miami Herald reports that following a divorce, a neighbor stated that Harkins began to talk about demons and told her that she didn't have any in her.
St Pete police said "this is very strange to us" and they still don't understand why or how this happened.
Harkins is being held in the Pinellas County jail on a $55,000 bond.