OUTSIDE MINNEAPOLIS -- A local woman has been charged with child endangerment after allegedly forcing her nephew to ride home in the trunk of her car.
Susan Marie McCarty, 38, of Edina, allegedly told police she made the child ride home in the trunk from Valleyfair because he had just been on a water ride and she did not want the leather seats in her car to get wet.
If convicted, McCarty could face a fine of up to $3,000 and a prison sentence of up to one year.
Shakopee Police were called to the Valleyfair parking lot Aug. 23 after witnesses observed a male child climb into the trunk of the car with two female adults standing by. Witnesses stated that after the adults entered the car, another child, his sister, left the car and shut the trunk. They did not see the boy leave the trunk, and they obtained the car’s license plate.
Shakopee Police ran the plate, which indicated an Edina address. The Edina Police found the car and made a traffic stop. The boy was no longer in the car at the time of the stop. According to the police complaint:
The Edina woman "admitted to transporting her nephew in the trunk of the vehicle because he was soaking wet and she did not want the leather seats to get wet… The back seat center console/cup holder was allegedly folded forward, leaving a hole approximately the size of a piece of paper for air movement to reach [the child]… When he claimed to be getting warm in the trunk, the air vents were aimed directly at the hole."
In a recorded interview, the boy’s sister said that he was told he would have to ride in the trunk if he continued to go on water rides and that he appeared excited to do so. The boy said that he would have rather sat in the car than in the trunk, but did not question the decision.