AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Police in Aurora are releasing some details about a strange case in which a woman was found driving with an unrestrained toddler in the back seat of her car and a canister of gas next to him strapped in a child safety seat.
The child’s mother, Sandra Ramirez, said it’s all a big misunderstanding.
“I love my kids more than anything. This whole thing is just ridiculous,” said Ramirez.
The incident happened on May 30 or 31, according to police spokesman Frank Fania. Police pulled the woman over at Tower Road and Illif.
In a photo police released a large gas canister is seen next to the toddler, who appears to be wearing nothing but a diaper. The boy has a seat belt on but should be in the safety seat, according to state law.
“They only see what the picture shows, which is horrible, I agree,” said Ramirez.
Ramirez said her son in the picture, 2-year-old Christian, unbuckled himself from his car seat and strapped himself into the adult belt. The toddler even demonstrated how he did it for CBS4 news.
Ramirez said she didn’t see her son change seats, “I can’t explain, I have no explanation. He jumped out and there he is.”
Police said Ramirez was not wearing a seat belt and neither was a 16-year-old also riding in the car. Ramirez said the teenager took the gas can and strapped it into the empty car seat.
“I’m not a bad mom, I care for my kids deeply. This has all just been blown out of proportion tremendously,” said Ramirez.
Ramirez was cited for no proof of insurance and three seat belt violations.
Police said she was not cited for child abuse. Officers said their records check on Ramirez came back clean.
“This was probably just a bad decision on the part of the mother rather than a child abuse or neglect situation,” said Aurora Police Officer Frank Fania.
The Colorado Department of Transportation posted the shocking photo on its website. It’s been viewed thousands of times.
“It hurts when people view me as that. Comments they’re saying about me are untrue,” said Ramirez.