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An Alabama mother has been charged with child abuse after she accidentally ran over her 7-year-old son while making him walk home from school as a punishment, according to the Boaz Police Department.

Police said the incident happened on Feb. 9 around 3:30 p.m. when Sarai Rachel James, 27, picked up her son from school in Boaz, Alabama.

James was told that her son had been sent to the principal's office because he had gotten in trouble earlier in the day, police said.

As a form of punishment, James stopped her car, not far from school, and made her son get out to walk or run the rest of the way home, a distance of around eight blocks, police said.
Sarai James mugshot

Boaz Police said a mom punished her 7-year-old by making him walk home before accidentally running him over. (Marshall County Jail)

While he walked, James drove beside her son for a few blocks, but as she slowed down, the boy tried to grab the door handle of the car, the Miami Herald reported.

According to Boaz Chief of Police Michael Abercrombie, when James accelerated, her son was pulled under the car and ran over with a rear tire.

Investigators told the Miami Herald that they believe the incident was an accident, though Abercrombie said the boy would never have been in that situation if he hadn’t been punished.

"She may not have realized he was doing that," Abercrombie said. "God watched over him."

According to police, the boy is in stable condition and was brought to the University of Alabama hospital where he was being treated for abrasions on his back and the side of his head.

James has since been charged with aggravated child abuse and was released on a $50,000 bond three days after being arrested, Marshall County jail records showed.

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