FARMINGTON, Minn. – A Minnesota mother is facing criminal charges after witnesses say she drove away with her 8-year-old daughter hanging onto the outside of her vehicle.
According to the criminal complaint, 46-year-old Rena Mae Giancherio was seen driving away from her home with her daughter hanging onto the outside of the car.
Terry Heller says he was playing outside when he saw the 8-year-old girl trying to stop her mother from driving.
Heller told KARE that the child was standing on the driver’s side running board. He says she was banging on the car window, holding on to the door handle and yelling at her mother to stop.
However, he says the girl’s mother drove away, forcing the girl to jump from the moving car.
“I went over to check on her and her knees are all cut up. She’s on the curb, just crying, and the mom is already gone, just drove off. She didn’t stop or look down,” said Heller. “What if she was holding on and they got onto the highway? She could have fallen off, or got hit by another car.”
Heller’s mother called 911.
When officers arrived, the girl told them that she was trying to get into the car with her mom, but all the doors were locked.
Authorities believe that she was trying to stop Giancherio from driving drunk.
When officials caught up with Giancherio, they say she was intoxicated and didn’t know what time of day it was.
Police also told KARE that after leaving her daughter in the street, Giancherio drove to a liquor store to purchase more alcohol.
She was arrested for two counts of criminal vehicular operation, child endangerment and third-degree DWI.