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There was no room in the car - so grandma told kids to get in dog crates, cops say

A woman in Memphis Tennessee Leimome Cheeks is charged with child endangerment after video showed her letting a child out of a dog kennel that was in the trunk of her car. Police say they drove about 35 minutes.
A woman in Memphis Tennessee Leimome Cheeks is charged with child endangerment after video showed her letting a child out of a dog kennel that was in the trunk of her car. Police say they drove about 35 minutes. Facebook/Screenshot

A passerby driving through Memphis Saturday afternoon was so disturbed by what he saw happening on Elvis Presley Blvd. that he pulled out a camera and began filming.

The viral video shows a woman standing by the trunk of a Ford Explorer and holding the door of a dog kennel open as a young child clambers out feet-first. A second dog kennel can be seen next to the first one, though its not clear if anything is inside. The child walks away and the woman latches up the kennel as the person with the camera pulls away.

Kids in kennel

TREATED LIKE ANIMALS: Viral video shows a Memphis woman traveling with children in pet kennels. The mother has been charged with child endangerment. https://www.fox13memphis.com/top-stories/viral-video-shows-children-traveling-in-pet-kennels-memphis-woman-behind-bars/766899281

Posted by Greg Coy, FOX 13 News on Sunday, June 10, 2018

After the video hit the web, police announced on Facebook that they had arrested 62-year-old Leimome Cheeks and charged her with two counts of child endangerment.

Police say they interviewed Cheeks and she told them she had driven two children, ages 7 and 8, about 35 minutes from Whitehaven to Collierville in the 95 degree heat, according to WMC.

She told police there had been no room in the car earlier and so she told the children to "get in the dog kennels," according to the Commercial Appeal, though she said she checked on the children "periodically."

Neighbors vouched for Cheeks and said they did not think she intentionally did anything wrong. Two neighbors told WMC Cheeks was a "super good neighbor. A real caring person." Another neighbor told Fox 13 Cheeks "loves her grandkids" and that they were "always outside playing with the dogs and stuff."

One neighbor told Local 24 it was "very sad because it feels like hell right here now, it's very hot." Police said the back of the car did not have any air vents, according to the Commercial Appeal.

Cheeks remained the the Shelby County Jail and is scheduled to see a judge Monday, Fox 13 reported. The maximum sentence on the charges is 12 years.

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