Gwinnett County

Gwinnett woman charged after video shows boy riding in Dodge Challenger trunk holding baby bassinet

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Police have charged a woman after they say a viral video showed her son riding in an open car trunk while she was driving.

Gwinnett County police said they received reports about the video on Sunday. The video appeared to show a 12-year-old boy in the back of a gray Dodge Challenger holding a baby bassinet, but it was unclear where the woman was driving.

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On Monday, a detective used the FLOCK camera database and placed the car in the area of Pleasant Hill Road and Shackleford Road on Sunday.

Police identified the car owner as 36-year-old Diane Shaffer. The mother told Gwinnett County police she had purchased the baby bassinet after she saw an online ad for it.


She went to pick up the item and said her son was sitting in the Challenger’s trunk to hold the item. Police charged Shaffer with reckless driving and seatbelt violation and placed her son with family members before she was booked on Tuesday.

Shaffer is out on bond.

Channel 2′s Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Matt Johnson talked to police, who revealed what Shaffer told them.

“The explanation we had was the item could not fit in the backseat of her car, it could only fit in the trunk and she had used her son to hold the object down,” Sgt. Michele Pihera said. “The woman told our investigators his feet were actually in the backseat of the car, meaning the back seat was laid down and it was only his upper body torso that was actually in the trunk.”

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Johnson spoke to Shaffer over the phone, but she didn’t want to be interviewed.

Police said parents have to consider their child’s safety.

“In light of everything that happened including her arrest, she now knows that all persons under 18 need to be properly restrained in the vehicle,” Pihera said.

Shaffer was released from jail early Wednesday morning. The child was not hurt and stayed with a family member until his mom got home.


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