A mother of five is facing several charges after a routine traffic stopped turned into a frightening chase resulting in police shooting at her minivan full of children.
Oriana Ferrell, Memphis, Tenn., was allegedly pulled over for speeding after officers noticed her driving at 71 mph in a 55 mph zone on October 28 on a state highway south of Taos.
The incident was caught on a police dashboard camera and showed the officer reportedly telling her to turn her vehicle off and to wait there until he returns. As the officer starts to walk back to his car Ferrell drives away resulting in a chase.
Ferrell, who had five children in the car ranging in age from six-18, eventually pulls over once again and is then berated by the officer for her actions and then tries to forcefully remove the woman from the car, according to KRQE.
While struggling to remove the woman from the vehicle one of the children, allegedly her 14-year-old son exits the vehicle and proceeds to walk towards his mother, but when the responding officer threatens to use his Tasers the boy retreats back inside the vehicle.
Ferrell then complies with police officer to exit the vehicle but as she is informed she will be arrested she tries to retreat back to the vehicle. As the officer tires to restrain her children screaming can be heard during the incident. At this point the same boy exits the vehicle once again and physically tries to free his mother before once again retreating to the vehicle when threatened with the Taser.
However, after the child returns to the vehicle the responding officer uses his baton to break the side window of the minivan before the minivan takes off for a second time.
After another chase lasting about 10 minutes Ferrell pulls into the parking lot of a hotel where her and her son are taken into custody.
The two police officers involved in the traffic stop are currently under investigation.
Ferrell no faces charges of intentional abuse of a child, aggravated fleeing of a law enforcement officer and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Still the attorney representing Ferrell insisted during a Nov. 12 court appearance that law enforcement officers were that ones who put the children in harm after firing on the vehicle after knowing there were children inside.
"There was no reason at all to chase her down," lawyer Alan Maestas told Eighth Judicial District Judge Jeff McElroy as reported by The Taos News.
"She was flat-out scared that something was going to happen to her children," he told the court. "We ought to talk about the stupidity and recklessness of shooting at a car that has five children in it."
The four other children in the vehicle were taken into custody by the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department.
The judge agreed to release Ferrell on a $10,000 unsecured bond and rejected the state's suggestion that she submit to regular drug screening citing that drugs did not seem to be involved in the initial stop. She must remain in the state until her next court date that is scheduled for April 21.