Texas Suburban Mother Jailed for Making 8-Year-Old Son Walk Half a Mile Home After He Misbehaved in the Car
“It really brought us into deep trauma.”
A mother in Texas was reportedly arrested after she made her 8-year-old son walk home by himself, with authorities accusing her of child endangerment. Heather Wallace, from Waco, Texas, was driving home with her three sons in the car, including Aiden, 8. According to Wallace, Aiden was misbehaving towards his brothers, so she made him get out of the car and walk the remaining half-mile home. Police found the boy walking alone and brought him home—keep reading to discover what happened next and why they arrested his mother.
Wallace says Aiden being made to walk home alone was not unusual—apparently, the boys would walk by themselves all the time. When she made her son leave the car to walk the final half-mile home, Wallace drove on ahead with her other two sons. She got home, and, to her surprise, 15 minutes later, Aiden came home sooner than she expected.
A neighbor had seen Aiden walking by himself and called the police, who brought him home to his mother's house. Wallace says when she opened the door, there were two policemen there. Aiden was waiting in the patrol car, and another law enforcement vehicle was parked across the street. The policemen then started to question Wallace about why her son was left behind.
The policemen chided Wallace about letting her son walk home alone, saying he could have been kidnapped. They then told her that it was a common occurrence in the city, although not so much in the suburb where she lived. They then asked her if she would allow her son to walk by himself again, and Wallace's answer got her in trouble. "I still didn't know it was illegal and I said, 'I don't know,'" she says. "That's when the cop replied, 'Okay, I'm going to have to arrest you.'"
Wallace was arrested and cuffed in front of her children. When Wallace's husband got home, they let Aiden out of the car and put Wallace in the cruiser. She was then interviewed by a case worker from Texas Child Protective Services before being taken to McLennan County Jail, where she was locked up. "I'm a suburban mom—I didn't know what I was doing," says Wallace. "I got booked at 4:00 a.m."
Wallace was charged with endangering a child, which is a felony that could result in a minimum of two years in prison. The charges were dropped after she completed a six-month pretrial diversion program, but the arrest is still on the record, and she had to give up her pediatric sleep consulting business and was not allowed to be alone with her children. "It really brought us into deep trauma," says Wallace.