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A Detroit aunt is going viral and catching much heat online after a video showed her allowing children to hang out of her vehicle’s windows and a toddler to drive while sitting on her lap. She’s now facing child abuse charges, Fox 2 Detroit reported.

Ashjunaria Virginia Townsend filmed herself in her vehicle along with her 5-year-old nephew and nine and 10-year-old nieces, who were hanging outside of the car windows and screaming instead of being safely strapped in the car on Feb. 10.

In the same video, a toddler was seen sitting in her lap with his hands controlling the wheel, unaware that if an accident were to happen, the child could be severely harmed by the airbag because of his closeness to the wheel.

The video made rounds on social media, and eventually, police got involved. Detroit Polie Chief James White took action, and Townsend was arrested on Monday, Feb. 19. She’s facing a second-degree child abuse charge, which is punishable by no more than ten years of imprisonment for a first offense. Townsend is also facing a reckless driving charge.

“Looking at it, I was fearful for the kids’ safety, number one, but it’s outrageous,” White told Fox 2 Detroit. “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.”

White added, “We put together a safety plan, contact child protective services. We’re confident that the children are not in any danger.”

Townsend spoke with the outlet to clarify some things.

“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,” Townsend said. “I do regret letting them hang out of the window. I definitely do feel sorry for that because it could’ve went badly.”

The disgraced aunt continued, “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 stated she was only going two miles per hour. None of the children were hurt.

People weighed in on it, with many bashing the aunt, while others saw nothing wrong since their family members did it with them. 

“I mean, yeah, not safe, but shit, my Uncle used to let us ride in the vet while he did donuts! I was like 8….a time was had idk wouldn’t do it with mine but shit, we had a ball.

“I’m gone say it yet again! People gotta put these phones down! This tech age got people hypnotized. They be snitching on themselves trying to go viral!”

“The fact that she thought it was a good idea to film it, post it, and do an interview about it lets me know everything I need to know. WTF!!!!!”

“My dad used to put me on his lap and drive side streets. But hanging out the window?!?!? They could fall! Glad they’re all okay. I hope she doesn’t do it again and learns her lesson.”


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