Detroit aunt who let kids hang out of moving car faces child abuse charges

A Detroit woman who filmed her nieces and nephews hanging out the windows of her car as she drove is now facing charges.

Video posted to social media showed Ashjunaria Virginia Townsend driving in the 9900 block of Somerset Avenue while a 5-year-old boy, a 9-year-old girl, and two 10-year-old girls hung out of the car windows on Feb. 10.

Townsend was arrested Monday. She is expected to be arraigned on charges of second-degree child abuse and reckless driving on Tuesday.

Ashjunaria Townsend

After the video made its rounds on social media and caught the attention of Detroit Police Chief James White, Townsend spoke to FOX 2.

"I want to clear up that I am remorseful. First of all, I'd like to say that I've already apologized to the parents of the kids," she said. "I do regret letting them hang out of the window. I definitely do feel sorry for that because it could've went badly."

She insists that she was only going 2 mph while the children were outside the windows.


'It's outrageous': Video of Detroit aunt driving with kids hanging out window leads to investigation

A video of a woman driving with children hanging out of her car window has the Detroit police chief "appalled." She recorded herself driving on a street on the city's east side with a toddler on her lap while her young nieces and nephews out of the vehicle's windows

"My family is willing to vouch. They are ready to go to war behind me and do whatever it takes to show that I'm a great auntie," she said.

White called what Townsend did outrageous.

"Looking at it, I was fearful for the kids' safety, number one, but it's outrageous," he said. "As you saw with one of the kids, it looked like the child was about to lose her balance in one of the turns. That just could've been disastrous."

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