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Mom accused of driving with son on top of van bound over for trial PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 19:43

Woman who said she strapped boy on vehicle to hold pool allowed to remain free while felony case is pending

    A Fredonia woman accused of strapping her 9-year-old son to the top of her minivan so he could hold down a kiddy pool as she drove down a Saukville street waived her right to a preliminary hearing and was bound over for trial Tuesday.
    Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Sandy Williams allowed Amber L. Schmunk, who was charged last month with one felony count of second-degree recklessly endangering safety, to remain free while awaiting trial by setting her bail at a $5,000 signature bond.
    Schmunk’s troubles with the law began shortly after 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, when police received a report of a minivan driving in the area of Hillcrest and Claremont roads with a child on top of the vehicle holding down a plastic pool, according to the complaint.
    The witness said the driver, later identified as 28-year-old Schmunk, eventually pulled over on South Colonial Parkway, took the child off the vehicle and wedged the pool in the minivan.
    When officers caught up with Schmunk, who dropped the pool off at her sister’s house on South Colonial Parkway, she told them that she had picked up the pool at someone’s house but had no way to strap it to her minivan. So, she said, she had her son climb on top of the vehicle and hold the pool while she drove, the complaint states.
    She said she only drove for a short time, maybe 20 to 30 seconds, before stopping and taking her son and the pool off the roof of the minivan, according to the complaint.
     Schmunk admitted to another officer that her oldest son was riding on top of her minivan as she drove but said he wasn’t in danger because she used a strap to tie the boy and the pool to the top of the vehicle, the complaint states.
    Schmunk also said she thought it was acceptable for her son to ride on top of the minivan because her father allowed her to do similar things when she was her son’s age, according to the complaint.
    Since the charge against Schmunk was first reported by Ozaukee Press last month, news organizations throughout the country have covered it. Television cameras were waiting for Schmunk when she made her first courtroom appearance Tuesday.
    “Amber, do you still think it’s OK to strap your child to the top of your car?” a Milwaukee TV station reporter asked as Schmunk walked down a hallway of the Ozaukee County Justice Center in Port Washington.
    Schmunk did not reply, and her attorney, public defender Rachel Boaz, declined to comment.
    Schmunk is scheduled to enter a plea to the charge against her during a Dec. 12 arraignment hearing.
    The crime she is accused of is punishable by a maximum five years in prison and five years of extended supervision.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 November 2017 19:44
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