(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — A North Carolina mother of two who was charged with child abuse last year after letting her 11-year-old son drive a golf cart during a family vacation is now sharing her story publicly.
Julie and Scott Mall were watching a sunset on exclusive Bald Head Island off the coast of North Carolina last July when, they said, their son asked to drive the golf cart back to their $1,000 per night rented cottage. Moments later, police officers stopped the family.
Julie Mall, 43, of the Charlotte area, described to the Charlotte Observer how she remembers the police officer handling her.
“He has my arm behind my back and I sort of fall to my knees, because it hurts, and then he pushes me down into the ground, puts his knee into my back and he’s a big dude,” Mall told the newspaper.
Mall’s husband recorded video as police handcuffed Mall and carried her away, taking her to jail and charging her with resisting arrest and child abuse.
Bald Head Island is an area accessible only by boat. No cars are allowed and golf carts are allowed to be driven by people age 16 and older.
The arresting officer, James Hunter, claimed Mall was at fault in the arrest. In the arresting documents, the officer said Mall failed to “surrender her hands to be handcuffed” and that Mall and her husband were “intoxicated…uncooperative and obstinate.”
Mall told the Charlotte Observer neither she nor her husband was intoxicated, adding that she had one glass of wine with dinner earlier in the evening. The mom of two told the Observer she was taken to a detention center on the mainland and charged with resisting a public officer, being intoxicated and disruptive and misdemeanor child abuse.
The state later dismissed the case against Mall after Officer Hunter twice failed to appear in court, according to the Observer.
Under North Carolina law, the charges against Mall could be reinstated at any time up to two years after the offense.
Neither the village of Bald Head Island nor the attorney for Officer Hunter replied to ABC News’ requests for comment.
Mall’s criminal defense attorney said his client “got a good outcome.”
“Julie and her family suffered a great deal during this ordeal, but got a good outcome in the end,” Bruce Mason told ABC News. “It should be noted that widespread use of cameras means that officers are now monitored by the people. When their conduct exceeds their authority, they will be held accountable.”
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