Woman Arrested after Driving to COVID Test with Son in Trunk

Woman Arrested After Locking Child in Car Trunk While Driving
Sarah Hadassah Beam. | Image from Cypress-Fairbanks ISD via Sky News

According to documents obtained by The Dallas Express from the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, a mother has been charged with felony child endangerment after her 13-year-old son was discovered in the trunk of her car at a drive-through COVID testing site.

Sarah Hadassah Beam, age 41, is accused of engaging in reckless conduct that placed a child younger than 15 years of age in imminent danger of bodily injury. Beam placed her son in the trunk of her car without any proper seating and/or safety restraints, a warrant for her arrest issued on January 5 states.

Court records say that on January 3, an officer from the Cypress Fairbanks ISD Police Department met with the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District director of health services, Bevin Gordon, who had been gathering information from people in vehicles in line for drive-thru COVID testing at Ken Pridgeon Stadium.

Gordon said she’d found the female driver, later identified as Beam, had locked her 13-year-old son in the trunk of her car.

The director said Beam told her the child was in the trunk because of a positive COVID test. Beam is said to have told the director the child was inside the car to prevent her from possibly being exposed to COVID while driving her child to the testing site.

When the Gordon asked to see the child in the trunk of the vehicle, Beam had to unlatch the trunk of the vehicle, and the child was lying down inside the trunk, court records state.

Beam said that the child would not be removed from the trunk and allowed back into the vehicle until the COVID testing was complete.

The health director then called the police.

An investigation by the ISD Police Department found security surveillance from an adjacent school campus showing the moment that the child exited the trunk of the car and entered the back seat of the vehicle on the passenger side.

According to KHOU, court documents show Beam was arrested on Saturday. Beam’s court documents state her charge as a felony endangering a child.

Cypress-Fairbanks ISD confirmed that Beam is a teacher within the district, where she has been employed since 2011, and currently teaches at Cypress Falls High School.

The district released the following statement regarding the incident:

“CFPD was alerted that a child was in the trunk of a car at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site earlier this week. Law enforcement conducted a full investigation, resulting in a warrant for arrest. Thankfully, the child was not harmed.”

KHOU reports Cypress-Fairbanks ISD additionally confirmed that Beam has now been placed on administrative leave.

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