A Memphis woman is in jail after being caught allegedly carrying her grandchildren in dog kennels in the back of an SUV, while the temperature outside exceeded 95 degrees, Yahoo News is reporting.
A concerned citizen apparently noticed a woman, later identified as Leimome Cheeks, 62, opening the rear door of the Ford Explorer and letting the children out of the dog kennels, seemingly to stretch. He shared the video with the Memphis police, and it quickly went viral on social media.
Eventually they caught up to Cheeks. By that time, she had driven around with the children for at least 40 minutes. Temperatures around that part of Tennessee had exceeded 95 degrees. Police later learned that she had been planning to take the children across the state.
Memphis police say that Cheeks tried to justify placing the kids in kennels because “there wasn’t enough room,” according to WATN-TV (Memphis). However, according to an affidavit, Cheeks did say that she stopped periodically to check on the kids.
The kids, for their part, did admit to cops that it was “hot” in the back of the SUV. However, after being checked out, it appears they’re OK.
Cheeks, however, is not OK; she’s been arrested and charged with two counts of child endangerment.
Memphis police, on their Facebook page, responded to the outrage over the viral video and assured everyone that the matter had been addressed.
“Many have inquired about a viral video from Saturday that shows two children being transported in pet kennels. Leimome Cheeks 62, was arrested and charged with two counts of Child Endangerment.”
It is not clear, as of this writing, whether or not Cheeks was granted bond or if she’s still behind bars.
Meanwhile, neighbors who knew the family, while outraged, are also shocked. Skylarr Blake, for example, thinks the woman may have just failed to think things through.
“It’s shocking, it really is,. I only met her like once maybe twice. She seems like a nice lady. I couldn’t see her actually doing that. I mean it could be an honest mistake. It’s a huge mistake, get some help yeah but put her in jail, it’s hard to say.”
However, Blake also admits that things couldn’t have been pleasant for the children.
“It’s very sad. Because it feels like hell right here now, it’s very hot.”
Cheeks was arraigned in a Memphis courtroom on Monday. She is set to return to court on July 9.