HOUSTON A woman accused of endangering her infant as she and her husband were panhandling says she was just fundraising to help build a new homeless shelter.
There s another side to the story that needs to be told, said Tonya Gleason.
A poised Tonya Gleason walked into a Harris County courtroom Wednesday where she was joined by her husband, Tyler Gleason, who s still in custody. Both have been charged with felony counts of endangering a child.
They re accused of leaving their 5-month-old son, Thatcher, in his car seat on a median, as they panhandled at 1960 and Kuykendahl in 96-degree heat. Authorities say they were alerted to the situation by a driver who had passed by earlier.
We re alleging they had endangered this child by standing in the median near a busy roadway and out in the hot sun, causing the child to have an elevated heart rate and a body temperature of 100.3 degrees, said prosecutor Dan Hung.
The child s mother said she wasn t panhandling, but fundraising to help build a new homeless shelter called Nation of Hope. She said her son s car seat converts into a stroller with a canopy, which she used on the median for about an hour, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Gleason also said it wasn t the median where she first encountered the deputy, but the parking lot of a nearby restaurant where she and her son were in a car getting ready to go inside for something to eat.
And the child was then taken out of the car and left sitting beside the car, at the officer s request, for several minutes while he talked to me, said Gleason.
The child was transported to a nearby hospital to be checked out and then was sent home.