A school teacher has been accused of endangering her child after she locked her son in the boot of her car to avoid being exposed to Covid-19.
Sarah Beam, 41, from Houston, Texas, allegedly confined her 13-year-old son in her car after he tested positive for the virus, local publication KHOU-11 reports.
As Beam took her son for additional testing at a drive-thru clinic on January 3, a witness heard something in the boot, court documents allege.
The mum reportedly told an employee the teenager was in the back because she was trying to avoid being exposed to Covid-19.
The health worker asked to see the child and the mum obliged and unlatched the boot, court documents say.
The 13-year-old was found inside without safety restraints.
The employee reported the incident to the local authorities after telling Beam that unless the child was in the backseat of the vehicle, no testing would be conducted.
Local media reports Beam had recently worked as a teacher at Cypress Falls High School but is now on administrative leave.
"CFPD was alerted that a child was in the trunk of a car at a drive-thru Covid-19 testing site earlier this week," the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District said in a statement to KPRC.
"Law enforcement conducted a full investigation, resulting in a warrant for arrest. Thankfully, the child was not harmed."
Sgt. Richard Standifer from the the Texas Department of Public Safety said he had never heard of someone being put in a boot because they tested positive for Covid-19.
He also pointed out the boy could have been severely injured if there was a crash.
"In the event that the vehicle is in a crash, there’s no way to really secure a person in a trunk," he told KHOU-11.
"Most of your vehicles are constructed with crumple zones in the front and rear of the vehicle, so if the individual’s in the rear of the vehicle and they’re involved in a crash, they’re probably at greater risk of being injured because they’re designed to absorb energy in the front and the rear."
Local media reports state it is unclear if Beam is in custody, however an arrest warrant has been issued.
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