Woman Lets 11 Y.O. Son Drive Golf Cart During Vacation, Was Charged With…

child abuse
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Last July a woman was charged with child abuse for allowing her 11 year-old son to drive a golf cart while on a family vacation.

Julie and Scott Mall were vacationing with their son on Bald Head Island, off the coast of North Carolina when this odd situation took place.

The family was watching the sunset when their son asked to drive the golf cart back to their $1,000 per night cottage. Soon after, the police stopped them.

Julie Mall recently spoke out about the incident, telling the Charlotte Observer that the officer had her arms behind her back, she was pushed down to the ground and out his knee into her back.

Her husband Scott recorded the events which took place which led to her being brought to jail and charged with resisting arrest and child abuse.

The island is only accessible by boat and no cars are allowed. Golf carts are used to get around and can be driven by those 16 years of age and up.

The officer claimed that Mall resisted arrest, was intoxicated, was uncooperative and “failed to surrender her hands to be handcuffed“.

The family says that they were not intoxicated and Mrs Mall had one glass of wine with dinner hours earlier.

In the end, the case was dismissed after the officer failed to show up in court two times. Charges could be reinstated up to two years after the offense under North Carolina law.

So what do you think? Should allowing an 11 year-old to drive a golf cart be considered child abuse? I personally think it’s a ridiculous charge. Maybe a fine or a warning would’ve been more appropriate.

Find out more from Yahoo News here.

11 thoughts on “Woman Lets 11 Y.O. Son Drive Golf Cart During Vacation, Was Charged With…

  1. “In the end, the case was dismissed after the officer failed to show up in court two times.”

    I wonder if the cop was ordered not to show up or was too embarrassed to show his face at each trial?

  2. That cop is truly an idiot. That kid will never look up to a uniform, ever. I’m sure the precinct commander told him to not show up, so that it would dissolve in the system. I’m glad it has come to light because now THAT police force, and its unchecked behavior, will now think twice, maybe.

  3. That cop is an idiot I really hope they kick him off of the force. As a child driving a golf cart on bald head was one of the highlights of my holiday. I cannot believe the overzealous cop could possibly represent the badge.

  4. Ridiculous. Especially on an island where no cars are allowed. Doesn’t say if the kid was driving by himself or with the family with him, but either way, seems absurd. I mean, if you’re going to say that is child abuse, at that point you could almost say letting them ride a bike by themselves is child abuse because they could run into a tree or fall off and hurt themselves. If it was driving a golf cart on a busy four-lane road with cars going 50 mph, that’s another story, but that’s not the case here. Apparently the speed limit is 18 mph everywhere.

  5. Under most reasonable social customs it would not be child abuse. However, the current state of raising children in the USA is way too over-protective to the point of this ridiculous situation.

  6. Well, indeed has the world changed. Decades ago my little brother was pulled over at age 11 for chauffeuring my Dad and I through St. George State Park in my Dad’s F-150. The ranger just requested that ‘at least the older one’ [me] drive. I was 15 at the time.

    No handcuffing, no silly charges of resisting arrest or child abuse. No knees against the back. None of this steroid style law enforcement. In fact the ranger kind of laughed at the end of it saying that it wasn’t that my brother was driving poorly that lead to the stop, in fact his driving was driving as well as any adult, it was merely the fact that he could clearly see it was a kid driving the truck as he drove by in the opposite direction.

  7. “Abuse”? At 11 driving a golf cart was like piloting a 747!
    Bald Head is built for carts.
    This cop is disgrace and should be investigated immediately.
    I know this is likely an extreme example, but it’s law enforcement like this that leads to much bigger problems.
    As an aside, this happened last summer?

  8. I’m sure there is more to the story however based on what we know. I don’t think it’s abuse for an 11 year old to drive a golf cart with an adult. It’s almost a fantasy of many young people about that age.
    It sounds like this area must have had issues in the past or they wouldn’t have a rule that only 16 year old and older can drive golf carts. As a Risk Consultant I would agree that 16 and up is a proper rule for sure. It should be written, posted and enforced. However arresting someone over it. I don’t think so.
    My guess is that the “security guard” was being ridiculous which may have been trumped by the angry parent.

  9. This is beyond ridiculous. While the ability of 11 yo probably varies greatly, my whole family grew up starting to drive at around 10 yo on the farm. Letting a 11 yo drive a golf cart seems pretty reasonable. I could certainly understand giving a warning under the circumstances. A ticket or child abuse charge seems over the top unless there is more to the story

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