A US mother has been accused of child endangerment after allegedly locking her Covid positive son in a car boot to avoid exposure to the virus.
According to court documents, Texas woman Sarah Beam, 41, took her 13-year-old son to a drive-through testing clinic at Houston's Pridgeon Stadium on January 3.
The high school teacher reportedly informed an employee the teen was in the boot because she did not want to be infected with the disease.
A health worker asked Beam to open her boot and she confirmed the young person was there, court documents said. The employee notified local police after telling the parent no testing would be done unless the teenager sits in the back seat of the car.
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"CFPD was alerted that a child was in the trunk of a car at a drive-through Covid-19 testing site earlier this week," the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District said in a statement.
"Law enforcement conducted a full investigation, resulting in a warrant for arrest. Thankfully, the child was not harmed."
Sgt. Richard Standifer from 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 noted the boy could have been seriously hurt if there was a car 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."
According to local media outlets, Beam currently works as a teacher at Cypress Falls High School but is now on administrative leave.
There is a warrant out for her arrest.