Mom accused of driving with 9-year-old on the roof of her van pleads not guilty

PORT WASHINGTON, Wis. — A Wisconsin mom accused of having her 9-year-old son ride on the roof of their minivan to hold down a plastic wading pool pleaded not guilty Tuesday.

Amber Schmunk, 29, of Grafton, appeared briefly before Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Sandy Williams for arraignment on the felony charge of second-degree recklessly endangering safety, which carries a possible five-year maximum prison sentence if convicted. 

Afterward, her attorney, Rachel Boaz, told reporters she is "very certain that throughout the trial process, that the jurors will see Ms. Schmunk as I do, a very loving, selfless and devoted mother."

Williams set the next court date for Jan. 16.

Schmunk's odd case became a minor internet sensation.

According to the complaint: 

On Sept. 9, Schmunk was picking up a plastic wading pool. She didn't think it would fit in her van, so she put it on the roof, and then had her son ride up there, too, to hold the pool in place during a short drive to Schmunk's sister's house.

Another driver reported the unusual sight to Saukville police and two patrol cars stopped Schmunk a few minutes later after she had dropped the pool off at her sister's house.

Schmunk told police her dad let her do things like that when she was 9, and besides, she had her son strapped down on top of the pool and the roof ride only lasted 20 to 30 seconds before she moved her son back inside and wedged the pool in, too. The person who called 911 followed Schmunk for about a block before she stopped and took her son down from the roof. 

The police saw it differently, and Schmunk was charged.



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