Child begs mom not to drive drunk; hangs on to car as mom drives off

Rena Giancherio, booked for drunk driving after her 8-yer-old daughter hung onto her mom's car trying to stop her from driving drunk. (NBC News photo)

FARMINGTON, Minn. – An eight-year-old Minnesota girl has her neighbors to thank for calling 9-1-1 as she pleaded with her mother to not drive drunk.

Court records show the mother had a blood alcohol level nearly four times the legal limit when she sped off on Monday.

An afternoon ball game in this Farmington townhome community came to an abrupt stop earlier this week.
Terry Heller saw his 8-year-old neighbor with her mom, Rena Giancherio, at the wheel.

“I was right here and all I see is her jump on that car,” said Heller. “I’d be scared if that was me.”

Heller saw the little girl jump on to the side of her mom’s car to stop her from driving.

“She was holding onto the handle of the driver’s side and just yanking it,” he said.

But as the mother drove off, her daughter fell off the car.

“I went over to check on her and her knees are all cut up, she’s on the curb just crying, and her mom was already gone, just drove off,” said Heller.  “She didn’t stop, she didn’t or look down, she was just like ‘okay’.”

Another neighbor, Corrine Reilly was the one who called police.

“I came outside checked on her and I told this little girl, hey, I have to call the cops, she endangered your life,” said Reilly.

Heller’s mom would later learn from Farmington police that Giancherio drove to the liquor store.

Court records show that once back at home and under arrest, Giancherio agreed to a breath sample, testing .30, almost four times the legal limit.

“I was super shocked that she not only drove but she drove with her kid hanging onto the truck with all these other kids in the neighborhood,” said Reilly.

Officers also say she didn’t know what time of day it was and had trouble speaking.

Giancherio faces five charges related to driving under the influence and endangering her child.

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