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Minnesota Mom Drives Drunk With Daughter, 8, Clinging to Car

Child Clings to Car As Mom Drives Drunk 1:33

A Minnesota woman is accused of driving drunk with her 8-year-old daughter hanging off the car trying to stop her, police said Monday.

Rena Giancherio, 46, was seen driving from her Farmington home July 27th, with her daughter clinging to the car, according to a police report.

Neighbor Terry Heller, 16, was playing outside with some younger children when he witnessed the the event. Heller told NBC station KARE that it appeared the girl was trying to stop her mother from driving, but fell from the car as her mother drove off.

"I went over to check on her and her knees are all cut up," Heller said. "She's on the curb just crying and the mom is already gone, just drove off, she didn't stop or look down."

Heller told police the girl was standing on the driver's side running board, banging on the car window for her mom to stop, holding onto the door handle. The 8-year-old eventually jumped down and fell but not before her mom was already driving down the street, a police report read.

Giancherio drove off, leaving her daughter on the ground, to head to the liquor store to buy a different large bottle of alcohol, police said.

"That is when I started freaking out," Heller said. "What if she was holding on and they got onto the highway, she could have fallen off, or got hit by another car?"

Heller told KARE he ran to get his mom, Corrine Reilly, who dialed 911.

"I came outside checked on her and I told this little girl, 'Hey, I have to call the cops, she endangered your life.' She was crying and said, 'Don't do it,' and I was like, 'I have to,'" Reilly said. "I am a mandated reporter technically."

The girl told officers she was trying to get into the car but her mom locked the doors.

Giancherio initially denied that her daughter fell from the vehicle.

The daughter told officers her mom drank "half a bottle" and the officers noted Giancherio didn't make any sense when she spoke. During a preliminary breath test, Giancherio was almost four times the legal limit, .30 blood-alcohol level, according to police.

She is charged with two counts of criminal vehicular operation, child endangerment and third-degree DWI, officials said.

Giancherio refused to speak to KARE reporters who showed up at her home Friday evening.