Suburban Mom Handcuffed, Jailed for Making 8-Year-Old Son Walk Half a Mile Home
Heather Wallace’s oldest son, eight-year-old Aiden, was driving his two brothers crazy in the car as they all returned from karate one afternoon in October 2021. Wallace asked Aiden to walk the rest of the way home—half a mile in quiet, suburban Waco, Texas, suburb—so that he could calm down.
For this she was arrested, handcuffed, and thrown in jail.
She was charged with endangering a child, a felony carrying a mandatory minimum of two years in prison.
“It really brought us into deep trauma,” says Wallace. She is finally able to speak out after completing a six-month pretrial diversion program to get the charges dropped. But her arrest remains on the books—easily searchable by employers—which is disastrous for someone with a Bachelor’s degree in education.
Here is how the events unfolded.
Aiden agreed to walk home; after all, it was something he had done many times. There are sidewalks the entire way, and practically zero traffic.
But 15 minutes later, two cops knocked on Wallace’s door. Her son was in their patrol car. Another officer was parked across the street.
A woman one block away had called the cops to report a boy walking outside alone. That lady had actually asked Aiden where he lived, verified that it was just down the street, and proceeded to call nonetheless. The cops picked up Aiden on his own block.
As they stood on her porch, the officers told Wallace that her son could have been kidnapped and sex trafficked. “‘You don’t see much sex trafficking where you are, but where I patrol in downtown Waco, we do,'” said one of the cops, according to Wallace. This statement struck her as odd.
“They were basically admitting that this is a safe neighborhood,” she says.
The officer then asked Wallace whether she would let her son walk home again, now that she knew about the sex trafficking.
“I still didn’t know it was illegal and I said, ‘I don’t know,'” says Wallace. “That’s when the cop replied, ‘okay, I’m going to have to arrest you.'”
He proceeded to do so in front of the kids, handcuffing Wallace behind her back.
By this point, the cops had allowed Aiden to get out of their car and called Wallace’s husband, who arrived at home. Then they put Wallace in the cruiser. She didn’t have her shoes on, but the cops told her the jail would provide a pair. It didn’t.
In the backseat, still handcuffed, Wallace was interviewed b
Article from Reason.com