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Mom accused of tying son to side of car and ‘dragging’ him along highway as punishment

Marion Luise Stade (Archer County Sheriff's Office)

Marion Luise Stade (Archer County Sheriff’s Office)

A 61-year-old mother in Texas was arrested last week for allegedly tying her juvenile son to the seatbelt of her car and dragging him down the highway beside her vehicle.

Marion Luise Stade was taken into custody on May 2 and charged with one count of abandoning or endangering a child, records reviewed by Law&Crime show.

Stade was released from custody the following day after posting a surety bond of $100,000.

According to a report from Wichita Falls NBC affiliate KFDX-TV, the incident began when deputies with the Archer County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, May 2 received a call from someone who claimed to have witnessed an adult female “dragging a child out of the backseat of a vehicle on the side of Highway 79 South.” The caller reportedly told the emergency dispatcher that the woman had tied the child to the seatbelt.

An ACSO deputy responded to the call, located Stade’s car, and executed a traffic stop.

The deputy questioned Stade about what the caller reported and she reportedly responded that her son had insulted her, calling her a bad name while they were driving, so she pulled the vehicle over and refused to move again until he apologized. She reportedly denied dragging the child alongside the vehicle.

The ACSO deputy then told the child that he should say he was sorry before clearing the call with the sheriff’s office, KFDX reported.

However, a short while after he let Stade go, the deputy received a disturbing call from Archer County Sheriff Jack Curd. Curd had reportedly just received a text message from someone who witnessed the incident which included a video.

The video reportedly showed the child outside of the vehicle with the seatbelt wrapped around him. Stade is allegedly shown driving as her son is forced to run alongside the car. The footage additionally shows Stade accelerating and then stopping abruptly several times, and at one point, the child can be seen clinging to the side of the vehicle with both of his feet lifted up off of the ground as the car continues to move forward, KFDX reported.

The deputy then pulled Stade over a second time and questioned her about the video. This time, Stade told the deputy that her son “would not get out of the road and she had to do something to control him,” The Wichita Eagle reported.

After taking down additional information from Stade, the deputy reportedly again let her go and cleared the call. However, Stade was taken into custody later that same day by deputies with the Wichita County Sheriff’s Office and charged with child endangerment.

In court documents, authorities reportedly state that Stade’s actions “placed the child in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury,” according to the Eagle.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.