Amber Schmunk, 29, on Monday pleaded not guilty to recklessly endangering safety
A woman who allegedly told her 9-year-old son to ride on the roof of her minivan to hold down a plastic wading pool has pleaded not guilty.
Amber Schmunk, 29, on Monday pleaded not guilty to second-degree recklessly endangering safety in a Port Washington, Wisconsin court in connection with the September 9 incident in nearby Saukville.
‘I am very certain that throughout the trial process, that the jurors will see Ms. Schmunk as I do: a very loving, selfless and devoted mother,’ her attorney, Rachel Boaz, told news cameras at the courthouse.
Boas called the charge ‘very serious’ and said Schmunk, who is free on a $5,000 signature bond, is ‘looking forward to spending the holidays with her family.’
If convicted, Schmunk faces 10 years behind bars as well as a $25,000 fine.
The unusual incident occurred on September 9, when a 911 caller reported strange sight.
Schmunk (seen with her son) is a ‘very loving, selfless and devoted mother’, her attorney said
If convicted, Schmunk faces 10 years behind bars as well as a $25,000 fine
‘There’s a child on the top of the van holding a plastic pool,’ the frantic female caller told the 911 operator. ‘I don’t know what she’s doing.’
‘I just couldn’t believe I saw that,’ said the caller, who followed the minivan to a home and reported the address to police.
Officers responded the corner of Hillcrest Road and Claremont Road in Saukville.
Schmunk told them that she had picked up the pool at someone’s house to take over to her sisters’, but had no way to strap it to her minivan, according to the police complaint.
The mom told cops that she had her son climb on the roof to hold the pool down briefly as she drove, the complaint said.
Schmunk said he wasn’t in danger because she used a strap to tie the boy and the pool to the top of the vehicle.
Schmunk allegedly told cops that she didn’t think she’d done anything wrong, since her dad let her do similar things at age nine. She is see with her son on the first day of school in 2011
She told officers the child was only on the roof for ‘maybe 20 to 30 seconds’ before she pulled over and managed to fit the pool inside the van, the complaint said.
Police said Schmunk told them ‘she believed it was OK as her father let her do things like that when she was that age’.
A neighbor, Barbara Sellin, told Fox6Now: ‘That woman needs to think the safety of her children.
‘As a grandparent right now, I mean, I know the kids have to be strapped in.
‘That’s just common sense. You love your kids and take care of them. To put a kid on top of the car is beyond ridiculous.’
Schmunk is next due in court on January 16. Her attorney said Monday that she would likely have no further comment until after trial.