Breona Watkins, 19, was arrested after a sheriff’s deputy heard a baby’s cries from the trunk of her vehicle during a traffic stop. The Sun Sentinel reported that the Florida mother put the baby in the trunk because she didn’t want to get in trouble for not having a car seat.
Watkins’ baby, only five months old, was found surrounded by hazardous items, including a used gas can, a rusty tire iron, metal hangers, and large hedging shears.
The mother, and a 14-year-old also in the car at the time, told the deputy that the baby had initially been in the passenger’s lap but they hid the infant in the trunk through an opening in the back seat of the car to avoid getting a citation for having the baby in the car without a car seat.
The vehicle was pulled over after a Broward sheriff’s deputy observed a headline out on the car, then saw Watkins run a red light and cause traffic disruption. When the deputy signaled the vehicle to stop, Watkins turned onto a different street and continued driving for a quarter of a mile before pulling off the road.
It was when the deputy headed back to the cruiser that he heard the baby crying in the trunk and decided to investigate. It is believed that Watkins drove at least a half-mile with the baby in the trunk, which was noted to be at a much warmer temperature than the outside air.
Watkins has been charged with child abuse, resisting an officer, driving without a license, failure to have a child restraint, and three other traffic offenses. She is held on a $7,000 bond.
Feature Image: Broward Sheriffs Office/stepoffthecliff.com