Iowa Mom Arrested After Sending Kids to the Store - in Blizzard Conditions
Temperatures hovered just about zero. You couldn't walk on the sidewalks because of snow drifts. The roads were unplowed. The schools were closed.
Yet Julie Jimenez allegedly let her 8-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter walk to the store at 10 p.m. Now she faces charges of child endangerment.
The Kum & Go market in Muscatine (a town of 23,000 people on the banks of the Mississippi in southeastern Iowa) is not far from Jimenez's home. In fact, it's just around the corner -- no more than a block and a half away.
Under ordinary conditions, it's about a two-minute walk.
However, Muscatine Police Chief Brett Talkington tells ParentDish the city was under a snow emergency. Officers say Jimenez was endangering her children.
They know the neighborhood well. The Muscatine Police Department is also just around the corner from the Kum & Go (about a three-minute walk).
Talkington tells ParentDish the kids reportedly wanted snacks. It was not a case of their mother ordering them to go, he says. "It was basically a case of her giving them money and letting them go," he adds.
The children allegedly had to walk in the street. The 8-year-old, according to the Muscatine Journal, was not wearing gloves.
Jimenez is scheduled to appear in Muscatine County court at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15. Child endangerment is an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
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