TEXARKANA, Texas–A child endangerment charge has been filed against the mother of a 4-year-old girl who was running barefoot on College Drive when a stranger stopped to pick her up in the pre-dawn hours on Wednesday.
Shardeyjah Beard, 24, is currently being held in the Bowie County jail with bond set at $100,000. Her young daughter reportedly woke in the early morning hours and left the unit she lived in with her mother at the River Crossing Apartments to search for her, according to a probable cause affidavit.
A woman who flagged down Officer Jonathan Price of the Texarkana Texas Police Department at around 2:30 a.m. reported that she found the girl running in the roadway on College Drive near a train overpass in the 1000 block. Price noted the girl, who was wearing pajamas, was shivering in the arms of the woman who said she’d picked her up about 20 minutes earlier. The temperature was 52 degrees and the area had been experiencing off-and-on rain showers, Price noted in the affidavit.
The child led the officer to an apartment in the River Crossing complex with an open door. Price determined nobody was inside while the child waited with the woman. Beard allegedly showed up after Price cleared the apartment and claimed she’d gone to a house in Wake Village because there was an emergency related to a death.
The officer noted the odors of alcohol and marijuana coming from Beard, who was allegedly unsteady on her feet. With the help of officers with the Wake Village Police Department, Price was allegedly able to determine that there was no emergency at the house where Beard had reportedly gone on Esther Street though officers did determine there was a gathering related to a death earlier in the week, the affidavit said.
“It was clear that Beard had left her child at the apartment to partake in the consumption of alcohol and marijuana,” the affidavit alleges. “The child was clearly in danger as she was located running down a two-lane roadway designed for two-way vehicular travel. The speed limit on College Drive is 35 miles per hour.”
The child was released to the care of a grandparent, according to the affidavit.
If convicted of abandoning or endangering a child, Beard faces six months to two years in a Texas state jail. The case has been assigned to 202nd District Judge John Tidwell in Bowie County.