A Tennessee grandmother has been arrested after video surfaced showing her keeping her grandchildren in dog kennels in her car.
The Memphis Police Department arrested Leimome Cheeks, 62, on Sunday, June 10, and charged her with two counts of child endangerment.
“Many have inquired about a viral video from Saturday that shows two children being transported in pet kennels in the 3700 block of Elvis Presley Blvd.” the Memphis Police Department wrote on Facebook. “Leimome Cheeks 62, was arrested and charged with two counts of Child Endangerment.”
Cheeks’ arrest came after the Memphis Police Department was sent a video on Saturday from a bystander who witnessed the 62-year-old letting two children, later identified as her grandchildren, out of dog kennels that were kept in the back of her Ford Explorer.
The children, ages seven and eight, told investigators that their grandmother had put them in the kennels and drove them around for at least 40 minutes in temperatures as high as 95 degrees with “no vents in the rear” of the vehicle, according to a police affidavit obtained by WATN. The children stated that Cheeks had claimed that there was not enough room in the vehicle for them to sit in seats.
The affidavit claims that Cheeks admitted to putting the children into dog kennels and driving them from Whitehaven to Collierville then to Downtown Memphis. She also stated that she checked on the children periodically during the drive.
Neighbors of Cheeks are shocked by the video, which has since gone viral, and her subsequent arrest.
“It's shocking, it really is. I only met her like once maybe twice. She seems like a nice lady. I couldn't see her actually doing that,” neighbor Skylarr Blake said. “Mean it could be an honest mistake. It's a huge mistake, get some help yeah but put her in jail, it's hard to say. You looking at that video, you see she opened up the cage let the kids out the cage out the trunk of the car, I mean it don't look good.”
“When I saw her face on Facebook, I was like wait a minute that looks like my neighbor across the street,” Camillia Cowan, a neighbor, told Fox 13. “I don’t think she knew because she loves her grandkids. They’re always outside playing with the dogs and stuff.”
Cheeks was released on bond and made her first court appearance on Monday. Her next court appearance is scheduled for July 9.
The children involved in the incident are said to be ok.