Mankato mother charged for toddler falling out of vehicle

A child fell out of a car seat near Hy-Vee at Riverfront - January 14, 2018

(Mankato, MN) – A Mankato woman whose toddler fell out of a moving car while still strapped into a car seat has been charged.

Forty-year-old Maimuna Kunow Hassan faces charges of gross misdemeanor child endangerment, misdemeanor instruction permit violation, and child passenger restraint system not fastened, a petty misdemeanor.

The incident, which was caught on a dash camera by Chad Mock, the man following Hassan’s vehicle, went viral.

According to the criminal complaint, a witness flagged police down near Cherry Street and Riverfront Drive.  The witness told the officer that a child had fallen out of the vehicle, but Hassan didn’t stop.  Other witnesses said they had seen the rear door of Hassan’s vehicle open and the child fall out of the car onto Minnesota Street, according to the complaint.

As police were taking witness statements, court documents say that Hassan arrived with a second child.  The criminal complaint says that Hassan and her other child were crying and upset as they hugged the toddler in the car seat.  Hassan told police through a translator that she was driving her Honda Civic when the door popped open and the car seat containing her 2-year-old daughter rolled out.  She drove up the street, she told police, to park and walked back to the scene.  She said the baby had been secured, but must have unlocked the door, according to the complaint.

The child was medically cleared by paramedics at the scene to travel to the hospital with family for further evaluation.

Officers inspected the car seat, and found no LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) strap on the car seat that would secure it to the vehicle.  Authorities say Hassan’s 2004 Civic was LATCH compatible.  The car seat chest straps were also not secured, according to the complaint.

Authorities discovered that Hassan is not licensed to drive, but has an instructional permit.  However, she also didn’t have another licensed adult with her in the vehicle while she was driving, according to police.

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