The mother whose 2-year-old girl fell from a moving car in Mankato while still in a child car seat was charged Thursday with three offenses.
Maimuna K. Hassan, 40, was charged in Blue Earth County District Court with gross-misdemeanor child endangerment, a misdemeanor driver’s license violation and a petty misdemeanor for failing to properly secure a child passenger restraint.
The tot’s tumble out of the car after the driver’s side rear door swung open Monday was captured on a trailing motorist’s mounted dash camera and has been viewed more than 1.2 million times on Facebook as of Thursday afternoon.
A police officer’s inspection of the car soon afterward found that the child restraint device lacked the strap needed to secure the car seat to the vehicle, according to the charges. Also, the door that flung open earlier was latched but not fully closed.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing at first,” Chad Mock wrote on Facebook. “If it didn’t happen in front of me, I’d never believed it.”
Mock was rounding a corner on Minnesota Street near a Hy-Vee grocery store about 11:45 a.m. when he saw the girl tumble into the middle of the street.
Hassan kept driving while Mock stopped and rushed to the girl to protect her from passing traffic. He picked the girl up, put her in his vehicle and pulled into the Hy-Vee parking lot and waited for police to arrive.
About 20 minutes later, the mother returned, Mock said Tuesday in an interview with the Star Tribune. By then, he said, police were on the scene.
The child was examined by public safety and ambulance staff, found not to be injured and was released to her mother, Mock said.
Hassan was charged by summons, and she has yet to be given a court date. Court records do not show her having legal representation.
According to the charges:
Mock waved down a police officer and reported what happened. Witnesses told the officer they saw Hassan leave the Hy-Vee parking lot onto Minnesota Street, and the child in the car seat soon fell from the open door and came to rest on the street.
As the officer spoke with witnesses, Hassan approached with another child “crying and upset,” the criminal complaint read. Hassan soon spotted her 2-year-old still in the car seat and hugged her child.
Hassan told police that her daughter must have unlocked the car seat from the passenger seat. She said she drove for about five blocks, parked and walked back to the scene.
Hassan was driving with only an instructional permit, and she was ticketed for failing to have another properly licensed adult in the car with her.