Mother Who Let Son Drive Golf Cart Charged With Child Abuse

A bizarre tale of police brutality during a family's vacation
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2016 4:36 PM CDT
Mother Who Let Son Drive Golf Cart Charged With Child Abuse

A 43-year-old North Carolina mom let her 11-year-old son drive a golf cart on vacation and ended up being charged with child abuse. The Charlotte Observer has the bizarre he said/she said story. Julie Mall decided to let her underage son drive the two blocks from the beach to their cottage on Bald Head Island despite it being illegal. Her husband, 22-year-old niece, 9-year-old daughter, and golden retriever were also in the golf cart. As they neared the cottage, a police officer pulled them over. “Immediately he started berating us,” Mall says. “He was saying ‘How old is this kid?’ ‘Are you guys drunk?’ ‘I could write you up for child abuse.’” Mall's niece says it seems like the officer was "having a bad day." “He was yelling, threatening to take her kids away from her," she says.

Mall, who says no one was drunk, claims she spent the next few hours as the victim of police brutality. She says she was forcibly and painfully brought to the ground, handcuffed, and held there before being humiliatingly transported on a public ferry as a prisoner. And she describes a disturbing scene at police headquarters of officers watching naked women frolic in the woods on TV. The officer who arrested her, James Hunter, says Mall and her husband were "uncooperative and obstinate," not to mention drunk. He says she resisted arrest and refused to follow orders. What the officers were watching was an episode of Naked and Afraid on the Discovery Channel. Mall was kept overnight in jail, though charges of child abuse and resisting a public officer were later dropped. Read the whole crazy story here. (More weird crimes stories.)

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