Grandmother arrested after transporting children inside dog kennels in the back of her SUV
A grandmother was arrested on Saturday after a video of her taking two children out of pet kennels in the 3700 block of Elvis Presley Blvd was shared online, according to Memphis Police.
The 62-year-old woman, Leimome Cheeks, was reportedly charged with two counts of child endangerment. The video of the incident was taken by a concerned passerby who saw the children coming out of dog kennels and captured it on his phone camera and later shared it on social media.
Local news channel WREG reported that according to the affidavit, the children told police that there was no space on the backseat of the vehicle so their grandmother asked them to get inside the dog cages for the rest of the ride.
The woman admitted to driving from Whitehaven to Collierville while the children were inside the kennels. Reports state that the children were inside the cage for nearly 35 minutes.
Their neighbor Nikita Blake, while talking to WREG, said: "I'm just so sad for the babies. For them to be in the hot car like that in cages is sad."
The children — a seven-year-old and an eight-year-old — reportedly told the officers that they felt very hot inside the kennels as there were no vents in the back to keep them cool. The temperature in the area reached 95 degree on Saturday.
The woman's neighbors, however, are still trying to understand what led the woman to put the children in the kennels because they thought she was a nice lady.
Neighbor Skylarr Blake said: "I'm still shocked. I really can't see her doing that. She's such a nice lady. Wow."
Cheeks' neighbors told WREG that she had recently bought two German Shepherd puppies and that is why the kennels were there in the back of the vehicle. They also added that Cheeks was a woman of faith and they have always thought of her as a nice lady.
Another neighbor, Eugene Richmond, said: "I think she needs some help. Something is going on with her. If she did that, then that's out of character for her." Reports state that Cheeks is scheduled to appear in court on Monday morning.