One Texas mom has been charged with child endangerment after allegedly putting her sick son in the trunk of her car to avoid contracting COVID-19 herself, CNN reports.
Sarah Beam, a 41-year-old mother from the Houston area, arrived at a COVID-19 testing site with her 13-year-old son in the trunk, a warrant from the Harris County District Attorney’s Office says. The director of health services at the testing center called the authorities after Beam noted her son was in the trunk.
From Fox26 Houston:
According to the charging documents, Beam told Gordon that her child was in the trunk because he had previously tested positive for COVID-19 and as a result, wanted to “prevent her from getting exposed to possible COVID” while driving him to get additional testing at the stadium.
Gordon told Beam that she “would not be receiving COVID testing until the child would be removed from the trunk of the vehicle and place[d] in the back seat of the vehicle.”
Surveillance footage of the area reportedly showed the child climbing out of the trunk and into the backseat of the vehicle. The child was unharmed in the incident.
Beam told authorities at the scene that her son had already tested positive for Covid-19; she was bringing him to undergo additional testing to verify the diagnosis.
It’s unclear what kind of vehicle Beam was driving, but the description of the teen being locked in a trunk in order to be cordoned off from the mother makes it sound as if the vehicle was a sedan, not an SUV or a hatchback, where the trunk space is part of the larger cabin area.
Beam was arrested on January 3 and was released after posting a $1,500 bail later that same day.
To make things even worse, Beam was a teacher at the local Cypress Falls High School at the time, where she’s worked since 2011. She has since been put on administrative leave.
In the event that you have to transport a sick person in the near future, there are some other precautions to take that do not involve endangering someone’s life by throwing them in a trunk. Both parties can mask up, you can put one person in the driver’s seat and one in the rear seat behind the passenger, and you can drive with the windows down. It is not recommended that you put that sick person in the trunk — especially if you’re also going to later share a living space with that person.