LA VERGNE, Tenn. (AP) — Police say a Metro Nashville tutor was spotted with three children in the trunk of her car.
La Vergne police spokesman John Fesmire tells media outlets that surveillance footage shows that the three children, all 10 or younger, were inside the trunk while 32-year-old Andria D. James was driving her car Sunday evening. Fesmire says six other children were in the vehicle’s cab area.
James, who has been arrested on charges of reckless endangerment, says the children were only inside the trunk while the car was parked. She says she had permission to take the students to her house after a basketball game.
WKRN News 2 in Nashville, Tennessee spoke with James on Monday who claimed she is not the person people are making her out to be.
“There were never nine in my car or in the store. Never,” she said.
James also told News 2 none of the children were ever in the trunk.
“That’s a complete and utter lie,” she said.
“So you’re saying that they did not ride in the trunk, they got in the trunk at the store? Did they get in the trunk at the store,” News 2 reporter Larry Flowers asked.
“Well, the doors were opened, so let’s say that,” James said.“ When the trunk came up, we had all their things in the back trunk because they needed to go home. I only needed to transport them at that point.”
After James’ arrest, parents and relatives were called to pick the children up.
“They were all very upset, especially the family members of the ones riding in the trunk,” La Vergne police Sgt. Bob Hayes said.
All nine children involved were James’ students and ranged in age from eight to 10 years old.
Metro Nashville Public Schools spokesman Joe Bass said James is a part-time tutor at Alex Green Elementary and will be placed on administrative leave.
Bass released a statement regarding the alleged incident that said in part, “We are in contact with the authorities in Rutherford County and will cooperate fully with their investigation. Obviously, the acts she is accused of are completely inappropriate for an educator entrusted with caring for students, and we will take further disciplinary action if needed as more details come to light.”
WKRN – Nashville, Tennessee contributed to this report