A Florida mother is facing felony child abuse charges following an incident in which she slammed on her vehicle brakes to stop her children from fighting. The charges stem from the fact that the 12-year-old daughter, who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the incident, slammed her head into the windshield.
According to WPBF, a mother from Port St. Lucie, Florida, is facing felony child abuse charges following an incident in the family’s vehicle. Port St. Lucie police say that Lorena Sullivan was driving in her vehicle when her children began to argue. Sullivan’s 12-year-old daughter was sitting in the front seat, with her 9-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter in the backseat. As the children continued to argue, Sullivan slammed on her brakes. As the vehicle came to an abrupt stop, the 12-year-old girl in the front seat, who was not wearing a seatbelt, flew head first into the windshield.
Police say that the windshield cracked from he impact, but Sullivan did not seek medical attention for her daughter. Instead, she claims there was no bumps or complaints from her daughter so she didn’t see the need. Sullivan claims she had no idea there was a problem until three days later when the Department of Children and Families showed up at her door.
The department was called in after the 12-year-old says she complained of a headache and dizziness following the incident but was never taken to the doctor. Sullivan disputes these claims and says her daughter never expressed her symptoms to her or she would have sought medical care, according to KATU.
“I didn’t on purpose or intentionally harm my daughter. If she ever once complainted to me and said, ‘Hey mom, I think I have a headache,’ but she didn’t. I’m heartbroken… my kids are gone. There was no bump, so I’m sorry but I guess I did the wrong thing.”
Sullivan says she misses her children, who were removed from the home and placed with their father in Kentucky. Meanwhile, Sullivan is out on bond and waiting her court date.
What do you think? Should the mother face felony child abuse charges for slamming on her brakes and unintentionally causing harm to her daughter? Does the fact that she did not seek medical care following the incident point to abuse? What charges do you think are appropriate for this case?