Gail Goldsmith was so afraid that she violated her Jewish beliefs and picked up the telephone on the Sabbath to call 911.
Her husband had just used their 2-year-old daughter as a weapon to beat her, according to an account she gave police, and the child was bleeding from a wound on her right forearm.
At an emergency hearing in Baltimore Circuit Court yesterday, Jason Goldsmith, 38, was ordered held without bail. He is charged with first-degree assault and second-degree child abuse in the June 30 incident at the family's home in Northwest Baltimore.
At the hearing, the prosecutor described Goldsmith as a troubled man who has terrorized his family. Afterward, as Goldsmith was being taken to jail, he collapsed in the courtroom and was taken away by ambulance.
Goldsmith was diagnosed in June with eight disorders and has been hospitalized six times in the past two years for mental illness, said Assistant State's Attorney Julie Drake. As a younger man, he received training in weaponry and armed combat, and served in the Israeli military, Drake said.
Goldsmith also had ties to several extremist organizations, including the Jewish Defense League and, years ago, the Kahane Movement, Drake said.
Goldsmith's attorney, Isaac Klein, said there is no proof that Jason Goldsmith belonged to any extremist organizations or had any specialized military training. He called Gail Goldsmith's accusations "her own exaggerations."
She wrote in court documents that Jason Goldsmith has been so threatening and aggressive that they separated in October 2006, and he moved out.
"He has repeatedly threatened my life and the life of my two children," she wrote June 30 in an application for charges related to the attack that she said had occurred that day.
Based on her application, Goldsmith was charged with two counts of assault and was scheduled for a hearing yesterday in District Court. In the meantime, Gail Goldsmith talked with police and prosecutors, and her estranged husband was indicted Aug. 3.
In her account of that day's events, she said her husband had come to the house for his regular Sabbath visits with his daughters, ages 2 and 1.
She said she locked herself in her bedroom while he was there, as she always did when he was present. Goldsmith became agitated when he could not find a diaper, she said, and ran upstairs with the crying 2-year-old.
Gail Goldsmith said she opened the bedroom door and that Jason Goldsmith pushed her down - she uses a walker because of back problems - then held the child tightly and struck his wife with her.
Goldsmith is to be transferred to jail after receiving medical treatment for yesterday's collapse. He is scheduled for a court hearing this month.